Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is sharing details for the first time about a previously unknown incident that involved her son, Archie, while the family was on an official tour of South Africa in 2019.
Meghan revealed in the first episode of her podcast "Archetypes" Tuesday that there was a fire in Archie's nursery while she and her husband Prince Harry were attending the first engagement of the tour, meeting with young girls in Nyanga, a township in Cape Town.
Archie, who was around four-months-old at the time, was with his nanny at the residence where the Sussexes were staying while in South Africa.
'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," Meghan recalled. "What? There's been a fire in the baby's room. What?"
Meghan said she and Harry raced back to the home and learned that Archie's nanny, a woman named Lauren, was putting the baby down for a nap when she decided to take him with her to get a snack. During the time they were gone, a heater caught on fire in the nursery where Archie was supposed to be asleep.
Meghan shared the story with her podcast guest, Serena Williams, as the two spoke about what it's like to be in the public eye without people knowing what is happening behind the scenes.
Williams shared her own experience of having to play a match at the 2018 French Open shortly after her daughter Olympia fell out of her high chair and broke her wrist, saying, "I somehow managed to win, but I was so emotionally spent and just like so emotionally drained that it was, it was crazy."
Meghan said that immediately after the fire scare with Archie, she and Harry had to continue on with their tour as if nothing had happened.
"Everyone's in tears, everyone's shaken. And what do we have to do? Go out and do another official engagement," said Meghan. "I said, 'This doesn't make any sense. Can you just tell people what happened?' ... And even though we were being moved to another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement."
Meghan said she hopes that by her and Williams sharing these stories, people will have, "some understanding on the human moments behind the scenes that people might not have any awareness of and to give each other a break."
Meghan, 41, and Williams, 40, longtime friends who met at the 2014 Super Bowl, also spoke in their conversation about ambition and the stereotypes and criticisms they've faced as women in the public eye -- the focus of Meghan's podcast.
"We have a lot in common," Williams said of their friendship.
"So much," said Meghan. "I mean, the things people think and the things that people don't... but in our friendship ... 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 friends spoke about the conversations they had in advance of Williams' recent announcement that she plans to "evolve" away from professional tennis.
The duo revealed that Meghan's husband Harry helped counsel Williams as she considered her next career move.
"Yeah, but you knew about it for a long time, and I talked with Harry about it a lot as well, when you know…" Williams said.
"I remember that day you were here at the house and I was like, 'What are you two just chatting about?' It must have been like an hour," Meghan replied.
"He was trying to knock some sense into me and I'm just like 'Uh,'" said Williams.
"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," said Meghan. "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."
Harry and Meghan made the decision to step down from their roles as senior working royals in 2020 and now live in California with their children Archie and Lilibet.
Williams also credited the Sussexes with supporting her as she transitions away from tennis. Williams wrote in a Vogue essay this month that she hopes to expand her family with husband Alexis Ohanian and devote more time to her tech investment firm, Serena Ventures.
Meghan has been courtside at several of Williams' matches over the years, including at Wimbledon and at the U.S. Open in 2019, when she took a last-minute flight from London to New York to watch Williams play in the women's final.
"I also just wanted you to just understand what it meant to have your support and for H's support, for everything," said Williams. "Because it's been, it's been hard, you know, like you've been in the locker rooms where I've been really down and debating why am I even doing this? But ultimately, I love what I do and that's why I'm still doing it. And it's good to have a chance to go out there and have a nice goodbye, but [I] definitely will be very emotional."
Earlier in the episode, Harry surprised the two, making a quick cameo that was caught on camera.
"Look who just popped in," Meghan said, inviting her husband to join the conversation.
Meghan and Williams both greeted Harry in faux British accents, prompting the group to laugh.
Harry then complimented Williams' hair, saying it was a "great vibe," and invited her to visit the family soon.
Meghan's new podcast is the first original podcast series produced as part of the Sussexes' multi-year partnership with Spotify, which was announced in December 2020.
At the time the deal was announced, Spotify said the couple would be both hosting and producing podcasts with the goal of building "community through shared experience, narratives and values."
The partnership with Spotify falls under the couple's production company, Archewell Audio.
Meghan's next episode of "Archetypes" will feature a conversation with music icon Mariah Carey, and is set to be released next week.