Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has revealed that her son’s Zimbabwean nanny saved him from a nursery fire during her and Prince Harry’s royal tour of Southern Africa in 2019.
Markle said she had to go to an official engagement in Nyanga, Cape Town, while son Archie was being looked after by his “amazing nanny Lauren” who she said is from Zimbabwe.
Markle was speaking to Serena Williams on Tuesday on her new podcast “Archetypes”. The tennis professional was the first guest on Markle’s new podcast.
The duchess said Archie was four-and-a-half months old at the time. Lauren was supposed to put Archie down for a nap but decided to first have a snack, so left the nursery with him.
“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. There’s been a fire in the baby’s room.’
“We get back. Our amazing nanny, Lauren, who we had [brought] all the way from Canada to here, 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.’
“Lauren is from Zimbabwe and we loved that she would always tie him on 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 she went downstairs, the heater in the nursery caught on fire,” Markle recalled.
Markle added there was no smoke detector. Someone smelt smoke in the hallway and went in to extinguish the fire.
She described the anguish of having to attend another official engagement soon after the incident.
The podcast was launched this week on Spotify, with the first episode titled “The Misconception of Ambition”. In the podcast Markle also spoke about the double standards women face when they are labelled “ambitious”.
She said Archetypes is “the podcast where we dissect, explore, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back”.