Meghan Markle describes son's brush with danger in debut podcast episode

Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle said she would use her podcasts to dissect labels and tropes that hold women back. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - In the first episode of her new Spotify podcast, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, explored feminism and the double standards faced by women, and she recounted her young son's brush with danger while on an official tour in South Africa.

Her first guest on the podcast, which debuted on Tuesday (Aug 23) and is called Archetypes, was tennis superstar Serena Williams, who recently announced her retirement from the sport in a splashy Vogue cover story.

Meghan, 41, said she would use the series to dissect the labels and tropes that are often attached to women to hold them back.

"Over the course of the next dozen episodes," she said, "we're going to live inside and rip apart the boxes women have been placed into for generations: boxes like 'diva', 'crazy', 'the b-word', 'slut'."

Meghan, who was the subject of intense and frequently racist scrutiny by the British tabloid press, said: "I know a thing or two about these labels myself."

Meghan also opened up on a scary incident that happened while she and Harry were on a tour of South Africa with their son, Archie, who was 4 -1/2 months old at the time. She said that as soon as they arrived in Nyanga, a township in Cape Town, they had to leave the baby with a nanny at a housing unit while they went to an "official engagement" where Meghan was to give a speech to women and girls.

When she finished and returned to the car, she was told that there had been a fire in the nursery. Thankfully, just before, Archie's nanny had taken him with her to grab a snack downstairs, but Meghan was extremely shaken up.

"The heater in the nursery caught on fire," she said. "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."

"And of course as a mother you go, 'Oh my god'," she added.

Having never heard the story before their chat, Williams seemed shocked.

"I couldn't have done that," Williams said about the fact that Meghan had to continue on with her official duties. "I would have said nuh-uh."

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