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Meghan Markle Says She Didn't Realize Ambition Could be "Negative" Until She Dated Prince Harry

Meghan Markle Says She Didn't Realize Ambition Could be "Negative" Until She Dated Prince Harry Image
  • Posted on 23rd Aug, 2022 16:17 PM

See the five biggest revelations from the duchess' first episode of Archetypes.

Meghan Markle did not hold back in the debut episode of her new Spotify podcast, Archetypes.

To kick of the project, the Duchess of Sussex sat down with good friend and tennis champion Serena Williams. The two discussed the hurdles that come with motherhood and female ambition—both topics that hit close to home for Meghan and Williams.

Below, see the five biggest takeaways from the episode.

Meghan makes a suggestion about life as a royal

To start off her episode, the duchess revealed she spent most of her formative years at the school of the Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles, and was raised as a strong feminist. Ambition always seemed like a good thing, she said—that is until she started dating Prince Harry and joined the British royal family.

"This message to me and my classmates was clear: our futures as young women were limitless. Ambition? That was the whole point!" she said. "So, I don’t remember ever personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word ambitious until I started dating my now husband. And um, apparently ambition is, uh… a terrible, terrible thing, for a woman ... according to some."

She added that since she "felt the negativity behind it," it has been "really hard to un-feel it." Meghan added, "I can’t unsee it, either, in the millions of girls and women who make themselves smaller—so much smaller—on a regular basis."

Meghan recalls scary incident with son Archie

When speaking of the difficulties of being a mother, Meghan recalled a time in 2019 when she and Prince Harry traveled to South Africa and had to leave baby Archie behind. She said that while they were out on an official engagement, Archie's nursery caught on fire, and luckily, the nanny was able to get him out in time.

Meghan said their 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 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," she continued. "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 said that despite how scary the moment was for her and Harry, they were made to go to another official engagement, rather than rush home to their son. "We came back. And of course, as a mother, you go, 'Oh, my God, what?' Everyone's in tears, everyone's shaken. And what do we have to do? Go out and do another official engagement? I said, 'This doesn't make any sense,'" she said. "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 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."

Meghan reveals she's known about Serena's retirement for a while

"I mean, you and I were texting the other day and I told you I was like, 'Oh, my God, it's out. It's out. The world knows that. How does it feel?'" Meghan said about Williams announcing her retirement news.

"It’s out. Well, you know, I've struggled with it for a while," the tennis pro replied. "So, but yeah, it's it's weird because you have to think about it. I've been doing this since I was, since I can remember. And I'm 40 years old now, so it's like my whole entire being and my whole entire life has been for one purpose. So to kind of not do that anymore, it's exciting, right? I'm really looking forward to it. As you know, I'm honestly, I can't wait to wake up one day and literally never have to worry about performing on such a high level and, you know, you know, competing. And I've actually never felt that."

Meghan agreed, and congratulated her friend of her "new chapter."

Meghan recalls making a "difficult" decision

Speaking of Williams's exit from tennis, Meghan said, "It's a new… of course, it has layers, I can understand, like I think most people can. We all have our own version of it where you toil over this decision, you pray over this and you cry over the decision. And then you make the decision."

She added that both she and Harry can completely relate to Williams's struggle. "I think, you know, I think both of us, or the three of us, really know that sometimes the right decision isn't the easiest decision," she said. "It's a hard decision. And it takes a lot of thought and a lot of counsel and a lot of support to just go, "Uh, uh, uh," and then just make the choice."

Though Meghan did not elaborate on her comment, it comes two years after she and husband Prince Harry made the tough decision to step down as senior royals in order to lead a private family life in California.

Meghan talks about "pain behind closed doors"

While recalling the first time they met (at a sports game in 2014) Williams told Meghan that the two have "a lot in common."

"I know—so much," Meghan said. "I mean, the things people think and the things that people don’t… But in our friendship when you have to see things that are mischaracterizing of me, but you experience behind closed doors the pain that I'm going through and vice versa."

The duchess added that that's likely true of most female friendships. "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, you know," she said.

"Mmmhmm," Williams replied.

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