Meghan Markle Makes Her Podcast Debut on Spotify

The opening episode featured a wide-ranging convo with tennis legend Serena Williams.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations on June 3, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Getty Images
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations on June 3, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Getty Images

Megan Markle has officially dropped the premiere episode of “Archetypes,” her Spotify podcast that “investigates the labels that try to hold women back.” The series will reportedly feature “uncensored conversations” with women, historians, and leading experts who can offer insight into the stereotypes that surround and ostensibly define women.

The first episode of “Archetypes” includes a conversation with tennis legend Serena Willams and Laura Cray, a UC Berkeley professor and an expert on gender in the workplace, regarding tropes often associated with ambitious women.

“I don’t remember ever personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word ‘ambitious’ until I started dating my now husband,” Markle said during the podcast. “So, since I've felt the negativity behind it, it’s really hard to un-feel it. I can’t unsee it, either, in the millions of girls and women who make themselves smaller — so much smaller — on a regular basis.”

Williams, one of the most accomplished athletes in history, recently made headlines by announcing her retirement from tennis ahead of this month’s U.S. Open. She said she made the decision to leave the sport in order to pursue “being a mom, [her] spiritual goals,” and to “finally [discover] a different but just [as] exciting Serena.” Williams’ decision to prioritize continuing to build her family over prolonging her career — a binary choice most male athletes don’t have to explicitly weigh — also factored into her retirement announcement.

“You know, if a man is ambitious, am I saying? Am I bringing down society by saying a woman is something different than ambitious? Or what do I think of women that are ambitious?” Williams said during Markle’s podcast. “Often women are definitely put in these different boxes when we are ambitious or when we do have goals or when we reach our goals, it's a negative connotation on how we reach the goals.”

The Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry announced a multiyear partnership with Spotify and their production company, Archewell Audio, in 2020. A joint statement at the time observed, “What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction.” The couple added, “With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”

Next week’s episode will feature a conversation with singer Mariah Carey.