Meghan Markle remembers one of the most frightening moments of her life like it was yesterday.
The Duchess of Sussex — whose premiere episode of her “Archetypes” podcast debuted on Spotify Aug. 23 — recalled the moment she and Prince Harry had gotten word that the nursery where their infant son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, 3, (who was around four months old at the time) was staying in caught on fire.
As Meghan explained to guest Serena Williams, the couple had just landed in South Africa for their 2019 tour.
“The moment we landed, we had to drop him off at this housing unit that they had had us staying in,” she recalled. “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.”
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As the mom of two — who also shares 14-month-old daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor with the Duke of Sussex — explained, upon racing back, they learned that instead of placing Archie down for his nap, their nanny, Lauren, made a split-second decision to grab a snack in the kitchen — and fortunately took Archie with her in that very moment.
“In that amount of time that she went downstairs, the heater in the nursery caught on fire,” Meghan shared. “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.”
As Meghan explained, although the entire family was shaken by the incident, she had to make the difficult decision to continue on with their public engagements immediately afterwards without Archie. Nonetheless, Meghan noted that the incident serves as one just example of why she wants to share more “human” moments behind public figures, especially women, in her podcast series.
“So much, I think, optically — the focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels,” she added. “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.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are taking a trip across the pond. The couple will be in the U.K. early September for a series of charitable events and they will also travel to Germany to kick off next year’s Invictus Games.
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