Meghan reveals baby Archie’s nursery caught on fire during South Africa tour


Meghan says they had to go on another official engagement straight afterwards (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Meghan Markle has revealed Archie had a near miss with death as a baby after his nursery caught fire during the Sussexes’ South Africa tour.

She shared the shocking story while speaking with Serena Williams on her long-awaited new Spotify podcast, Archetypes.

The Duchess of Sussex said Archie was just four-and-a-half months old during the family’s visit in 2019.

Right after giving a speech at the Nyanga township in their first official visit of the trip, Meghan said she and Prince Harry were given some horrifying news.

‘There’s been a fire at the residence. There’s been a fire in the baby’s room,’ the Duchess recalled.

Meghan told Serena how a heater caught on fire in the room Archie was supposed to be sleeping in.

She said there was no smoke detector but that someone who smelt smoke down the hallway went in and extinguished the fire.

The Duchess of Sussex has previously opened up about the pressures she felt as a working royal (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Meghan added: ‘Our amazing nanny Lauren…was in floods of tears. She was supposed to put Archie down for his nap and she just said, you know what, let me go and get a snack from downstairs.’

Fortunately Lauren took Archie with her – tying him to her back with a mudcloth – and in that same amount of time the fire broke out.

Meghan continued: ‘Everyone’s in tears, everyone is shaking. And what did we have to do? Go out and do another official engagement.

‘I said, “this doesn’t make any sense”, could you just tell people what happened?”‘

Meghan and Harry’s tour saw the Duchess getting close to tears while opening up about motherhood in an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby.

At one point she thanked Bradby for asking how she’s coping, saying: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m OK’.

She said it was ‘a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes’ and confirmed it had ‘really been a struggle’.

Meghan and Serena discussed the double standards women in sports face in the episode, titled ‘The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams’.

The Duchess pointed out a misconception ‘that if you’re an ambitious woman you have an agenda, you must be calculating or selfish or aggressive, or a climber’.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams discussed the double-standards faced by women in sports (Picture: Getty Images)

She added: ‘The notion of ambition comes with many judgements and nuances – especially for women.’

Meghan told Serena: ‘In our friendship when you have to see things that are mischaracterising of me, but you experience behind closed doors the pain that I’m going through.

‘What I think is so interesting is that even though that’s on a world stage, I don’t know if that feels much different for any woman. If you’re in a small town and you see someone saying something about your best friend that is just completely untrue, how that feels.

‘The thought of these, like, Archetypes, but it’s the kind of stuff you and I talk about so much, these boxes and these labels – the things that we both have been called and witnessed each other being called.’

The pair also played some clips of male tennis players exploding with anger on the court with no consequences and compared it with the media scrutiny Serena has had her whole career.

Prince Harry also makes an appearance in the episode, telling Serena: ‘I like what you’ve done with your hair. That’s a great vibe.’

The seven-time Wimbledon champion replies: ‘Thank you. Good to see you too as always.’

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