Meghan Markle Reflects On The Time Royal Duties Once Forced Her To Leave 4-Month-Old Son Archie, Right After A Fire Broke Out In His Nursery

Meghan Markle & Son

Meghan Markle Reflects On The Time Royal Duties Once Forced Her To Leave 4-Month-Old Son Archie, Right After A Fire Broke Out In His Nursery

Duchess Meghan Markle is committed to her royal obligations, despite a terrifying experience with her young son Archie.

The U.K. royal recently reflected on the time her royal status required leave her then 4-month-old son, moments after a fire broke out in his nursery. Meghan Markle, 41, spoke about the experience on the premiere of her new podcast Archetypes with special guest Serena Williams. Sussexs’ Duchess says the heart wrenching moment came while she and her husband, Prince Harry of Sussex, 37, was on their official tour of Africa back in 2019.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, & Son

Explaining the situation to the tennis g.o.a.t., Markle began:

“When we went on our tour to South Africa, we landed with Archie….Archie was what, four 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?”

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry & Son

The mother of two went on to reveal that fortunately Archie wasn’t in the room at the time, thanks to the instincts of his “amazing” Zimbabwean nanny Lauren. She stated:

“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.’….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….He was supposed to be sleeping in there.”

Markle continued, explaining that though everyone was admittingly tearful and “shaken” by the incident, royal duties did not stop. The Duchess says she and Prince Harry immediately left for another “official engagement”, as optically, it would have been in poor taste not to do so. She explained:

“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,”

Then continued:

“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….Even though we were being moved to another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.”

Since becoming a member of the the longest reigning royal family in U.K. history, Markle has continuously battled the “optics” of her marriage. As the first Black woman married into the family, she underwent intense scrutiny from English media outlets. The Duchess opened up about her struggles adjusting to royal life and negative media coverage of her in the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, and again while interviewing with Oprah Winfrey back in 2021.


However despite it all, it seems Markle is determined to push forward. Committed to breaking down and out of the “Archetypes” pushed on her, the Duchess left this final thought on her podcast debut:
“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.”

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, & Children


Tell us your thoughts on Meghan’s revelation in the comments! 

Authored by: Kay Johnson