Meghan Markle Had to Continue a Royal Tour in Africa Despite a Fire Breaking Out in Archie's Room

Every mother's worst fear.

Meghan Markle got candid about one very scary moment as a mother and how she was expected to continue with her royal engagements immediately after the experience. On Tuesday, Markle dropped the long-awaited premiere episode of her podcast, Archetypes with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. For the special inaugural show, Markle was joined by her longtime friend and tennis star, Serena Williams.

Meghan Markle Spotify Archetypes Podcast Art
Spotify

During the interview, the two discussed the challenges of being a working mom in the spotlight. Williams recalled the time at the French Open when her daughter Olympia broke her wrist. She barely slept at all the night before her match, though she still managed to win. Markle spoke about a similar experience she had during a trip to South Africa with her husband Prince Harry and their son, Archie.

"Archie was what, 4-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," she remembered. "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 Markle, Prince Harry, and Archie Birth Announcement
Getty Images

After rushing back to the lodging, they found their "amazing nanny" Lauren "in floods of tears." "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."

While Archie luckily wasn't in the room at the time, the whole family was understandably shaken from the situation. Yet, they still had to continue with their appearances. "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," she explained. "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. And even though we were being moved to another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement."

In a voiceover in the podcast, she concluded, "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."

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