Meghan Markle Recalls Terrifying Moment When a Fire Broke Out in Archie’s Nursery

Meghan Markle is opening up about a terrifying incident that happened during the royal tour of South Africa.

Today, the Duchess of Sussex launched her all-new podcast, titled Archetypes. In the debut episode, she enlisted her good friend, Serena Williams, as a guest co-host. While discussing her royal life, Markle recalled a frightening story from 2019, when she and Prince Harry brought their son, Archie (who was 4-months at the time), to South Africa.

Markle explained that they had to leave Archie with a nanny, so they could carry out their official duties. “The moment we landed, we had to drop him off at this housing unit that they had had us staying in,” she said.

meghan markle archie fire podcast prince harry south africa
Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

But while they were away, a fire broke out in the nursery where Archie was supposed to be sleeping. “He was going to get ready to go down for his nap,” she said. “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.’”

Luckily, the nanny hadn’t put Archie in the crib yet. “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,’” Markle explained. “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.”

meghan markle archie fire podcast prince harry clapping south africa

Markle revealed that she wasn’t allowed to change her itinerary, and she was forced to leave Archie (again). “I was like, ‘Can you just tell people what happened?’”

She continued, “And even though we were being moved to another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.”

Markle concluded the conversation with a powerful statement: “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.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...