Scary situation. Meghan Markle revealed that she was forced to continue a Royal Africa tour after her son Archie’s room caught on fire.
During the debut episode of her podcast, “Archetypes,” released Tuesday, August 23, Meghan, 41, spoke to her longtime friend Serena Williams about ambition and motherhood.
During the conversation, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that a fire broke out in the nursery where Archie, 3, was staying while she and Prince Harry were visiting Africa in September 2019.
“When we went on our tour to South Africa, we landed with Archie,” Meghan began. “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 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?”
The former Suits star said that she and Harry, 37, rushed back to the residence and their “amazing nanny” was “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,’” Meghan said. “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.”
The California native added, “He was supposed to be sleeping in there.”
Despite being “in tears” and “shaken” by the incident, Meghan said that they were forced to return to another scheduled engagement on the tour.
“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 continued. “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 said, “And even though we were being moved to another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.”
Soon after the tour, Harry and Meghan announced their plans to step down from their senior royal duties and become “financially independent” in January 2020.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the couple announced in the lengthy statement at the time. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
The pair have since settled in California with Archie and daughter, Lilibet, 1.