Meghan Markle was pregnant with her second child, Lilibet Diana, at the time of her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey. In the latest episode of her Spotify podcast, Archetypes, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that at the time of the tell-all, she “hadn’t gotten out of the house” in a long while due to the pregnancy. During a conversation with Pamela Adlon, Meghan discussed her first major outing following the interview and admitted to feeling anxious as she arrived at the event.
The Duchess said: “It was Gloria Steinem’s birthday lunch at a mutual friend’s home. And I remember my friends asked: ‘Do you want to come? Gloria’s having a birthday lunch,’ and I thought: ‘Okay, great. This would be really casual like when I go and sit with her at the cottage,’ not realising it’s a bit of an extravaganza.
“I hadn’t gotten out of the house in a long time at that point — and I’m pregnant — I was so nervous when I walked in and just saw this room full of women.”
Meghan previously spoke about the occasion in an interview with Variety magazine. She explained: “Even before the interview, I hadn’t been out because I was so pregnant. The one thing I really remember was Gloria Steinem’s birthday, a few days after it aired.
“I really wanted to celebrate her at what I thought was just going to be a small and intimate birthday lunch. I envisioned it being us eating sandwiches in this cottage she was staying at. Instead, it was an extravaganza — by the way, as she deserves.
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Meghan added: “That moment meant so much to me — it really did — and I am just excited to be talking to you now.”
In the Variety interview, the Duchess gave more detail about her and Pamela’s interaction, adding that she felt the same warmth from the other women at the event. She said: “She [Pamela] toured me around the room, and at every turn, more generosity and love was felt.
“Maybe it’s just a testament to the kind of company Glo keeps, but I also think these women were extraordinary to ensure I felt so welcomed. It’s like they knew exactly what I needed to feel in that moment. It meant, and still means, so very much to me. The power of sisterhood and female support can never be underestimated.”
Meghan and her husband Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey left many viewers across the globe stunned, with several dramatic accusations and revelations made during the two-hour conversation, including the Duchess revealing she had had suicidal thoughts and the couple making allegations of racism within the Firm.
The interview provoked strong responses from many, including British morning show host Piers Morgan who quit his show ‘Good Morning Britain’ after refusing to apologise for his rants against the royal.
But, while Meghan and Harry’s interview received backlash from some, the Duchess’ candour was noted by many who praised her for being so openly vulnerable. Celebrities including Beyoncé and Serena Williams came out in support of Meghan, calling her “courageous” for the explosive interview.
Beyoncé posted a touching message of support on her website alongside a photo of her meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the London premiere of ‘The Lion King’ in 2019. The message read: “Thank you Meghan for your courage and leadership. We are all strengthened and inspired by you.”
Serena Williams, who is a long-term friend of the Duchess, was one of the first to show her public support for Meghan. Shortly after the interview aired, the tennis pro posted a tribute on Instagram; in the caption, Serena wrote: “I am so proud of you for being so brave. I know it is never easy. You are strong — both you and Harry…
“Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life — and leads by example — with empathy and compassion. She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble.”
More recently, Serena and Meghan proved their long-lasting friendship when the tennis champion guested on the Duchess’ podcast. Serena was the first guest on Archetypes — the podcast that discusses how various labels and stereotypes affect women — and she and Meghan discussed how they have been impacted by typecasting.
Meghan spoke to Serena soon before, and right after, the sports star announced her retirement from professional tennis.
“Serena Williams! My dear, dear friend, the greatest of all time. I asked her to come on to talk with me about that dirty, dirty word when it comes to women: Ambition,” Meghan said during the episode.
Later, when asked by Markle why she agreed to do the podcast, Serena said: “I love you. believe in you. We’ve been friends for so long. I’m super loyal, you know that.”