There was a terrifying incident involving Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son Archie during the couple’s 2019 royal tour of Africa.
Meghan was joined by her friend Serena Williams on the first episode of her Spotify podcast “Archetypes” that premiered Tuesday, with the pair discussing their roles as mothers.
The Duchess of Sussex recalled the time a fire broke out in Archie’s room not long after they’d landed in South Africa.
Meghan shared, “Archie was what, four and a half months old. And the moment we landed, we had to drop him off at this housing unit that they had had us staying in,” People reported.
She continued, “He was going to get ready to go down for his nap. We immediately went to an official engagement in this township called Nyanga, and there was this moment where I’m standing on a tree stump and I’m giving this speech to women and girls, and we finish the engagement, we get in the car and they say, ‘There’s been a fire at the residence.’ What? ‘There’s been a fire in the baby’s room.’ What?”
Meghan said their “amazing nanny” Lauren was “in floods of tears,” telling listeners: “She was supposed to put Archie down for his nap, and she just said, ‘You know what? Let me just go get a snack downstairs.’ And she was from Zimbabwe, and we loved that she would always tie him on her, her back with a mud cloth, and her instinct was like, ‘Let me just bring him with me before I put him down.’
“In that amount of time that she went downstairs, the heater in the nursery caught on fire. 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 admitted everyone was “in tears” and “shaken” by the whole thing, but she and Harry had to leave for another engagement.
“I was like, ‘Can you just tell people what happened?’ And so much, I think, optically. The focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels.
“And part of the humanizing and the breaking through of these labels and these archetypes and these boxes that we’re put into is having some understanding on the human moments behind the scenes that people might not have any awareness of and to give each other a break. Because we did — we had to leave our baby.”
Meghan continued, “And even though we were being moved to another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.”
Williams insisted, “I couldn’t have done that. I would have said, ‘Uh-uh.'”
Meghan then explained in a voiceover on the episode, “These human moments behind the scenes, the ones under the surface… they’re everything. Because when we don’t swim in the shallow end, and instead choose to dive into the deep end, that’s when we gain a more nuanced understanding of each other.”
Meghan and Harry welcomed Archie on May 6, 2019. They also share daughter Lilibet, 1.