'The heater in the nursery caught fire.' 5 things we learned from Meghan Markle's new podcast.

Meghan Markle's new podcast has officially dropped.

Almost two years after signing a big podcast deal with Spotify, the first episode of the Duchess of Sussex's long-awaited podcast, Archetypes, was released on Tuesday.

"People should expect the real me in this and probably the me that they've never gotten to know," the 41-year-old says in a trailer for the podcast, which investigates "the labels that try to hold women back".

"Over the course of the next dozen episodes, we’re going to live inside and rip apart the boxes women have been placed into for generations - boxes like diva, crazy, the b-word, sl*t. Some of these words — these labels — are harsh; they’re abrasive. And I want to get to the bottom of where they come from, why they’ve stuck around for so long, and - importantly - how we can move past them," she says. 

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Video via Spotify. 

The first episode of the podcast sees Meghan sit down with her "dear friend" and tennis star Serena Williams to discuss their thoughts around ambition, and share the "human" moments the public don't get to see.


Here's the five biggest moments from the first episode. 

1. A fire broke out in Archie's bedroom. 

During the hour-long interview, Meghan shared the moment she was left "shaken" and "in tears" when a fire broke out in her son's bedroom, while her and Harry were on tour in South Africa in 2019.

The Duchess had just delivered a speech to women and girls in Nyanga when she was told there had been an incident in her then-four-month-old son Archie's bedroom. 

"We get in the car and they say there’s been a fire at the residence... There’s been a fire in the baby’s room," she recalled. 

"We get back, our amazing nanny, Lauren... [is] in floods of tears."

Earlier that day, Lauren was supposed to put Archie down for a nap but decided to take him downstairs with her while she got herself a snack instead. 

"In that amount of time that she went downstairs, the heater in the nursery caught on fire," said Meghan.

"There was no smoke detector. Someone happened to just smell smoke down the hallway, went in, fire extinguished. He was supposed to be sleeping in there."

Meghan explained that she later had to leave her son after the incident to attend another royal engagement. 

"I said, ‘This doesn’t make any sense. Can you just tell people what happened?’ And I think the focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels."


"We had to leave our baby... and even though we were being moved into another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement."

2. Meghan wrote a letter to change a sexist advert at 11 years old. 

At the start of the podcast, Meghan recalled a moment she made a company change their sexist advertisement when she was just 11 years old. 

"I was in the sixth grade, I was sitting in my classroom – and we were watching TV, when a commercial came on," she explained. 

The advertisement, which she has publicly spoken about in the past, promoted an Ivory dishwasher soap and featured a voiceover which said "women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans".

"I was furious. Women? Did I, did I really just hear that guy say just women – as in only women – only women, women are the only ones who wash dishes?," Meghan recalled, adding that two boys in her class agreed that women belong in the kitchen. 

Fed up, the young activist wrote letters to the soap’s manufacturer Procter & Gamble, as well as civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and Nick News anchor Linda Ellerbee. 

As a result, the company changed the wording of the advertisement, replacing the word "women" with "people".

While Meghan said it was a moment of "triumph", the experience was also "an awakening" and shed light on "the millions of ways – big and small – that our society tries to box women in, to hold women back, to tell women who and what they should and can be". 


"I've never lost touch with that reality," she said. 

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3. Ambition is a "dirty word when it comes to women". 

Elsewhere during the interview, Meghan and Serena began discussing the topic of ambition, particularly how it's a "dirty word when it comes to women."

"I don't remember ever personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word 'ambitious' until I started dating my now husband," said Meghan. 

"Apparently ambition is... a terrible, terrible thing, for a woman that is - according to some. So, since I've felt the negativity behind it, it's really hard to un-feel it. I can't unsee it, either, in the millions of girls and women who make themselves smaller - so much smaller - on a regular basis."

The 23-time Grand Slam champion agreed, saying, "Often women are definitely put in these different boxes when we are ambitious or when we do have goals or when we reach our goals, it’s a negative connotation on how we reach the goals."

4. Serena Williams' daughter broke her wrist the night before she won a match at the French Open.

Speaking about balancing her tennis career with motherhood, Serena shared her four-year-old daughter broke her wrist the night before she was due to compete at the French Open. 

"That night [Olympia] fell out of her high chair and broke her wrist and she was on my watch... I felt so guilty," Serena shared.


Olympia was taken to the hospital, where she was given a cast to wear. 

"We didn't get back [from the hospital] until four in the morning... I remember holding her the whole night and rocking her to sleep... I think I got like 30 minutes of sleep," she explained. 

"I somehow managed to win, but I was so emotionally spent and just like so emotionally drained that it was, it was crazy." 

Surprised by the story, Meghan said people often forget what happens behind the scenes.

"So when you went and played that match the next morning, no one knew what your night had been like the night before," she said. "They forgot that human piece of it."


5. Harry spoke to Serena Williams about retiring from tennis. 

Towards the end of the podcast, Meghan brought up the topic of Serena's retirement, which the tennis star only just announced to the world earlier this month.

"Obviously I’m retiring professionally, but it’s also an evolution," said Serena. 

"I’m doing more business things. And I really want to expand my family. And, you know, I’ve been putting it off for so long. And as a woman, there’s only so, so long you can put that off."

Serena went on to say she spoke to Prince Harry about her decision to retire before she went public with the news. 

"I remember that day you were here at the house and I was like, 'What are you two just chatting about?' It must have been like an hour," said Meghan. 

"He was trying to knock some sense into me," replied Williams. 

Meghan said, "I think both of us, or the three of us, really know that sometimes the right decision isn't the easiest decision."

Feature Image: Getty/Spotify/Mamamia. 

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