Meghan Markle Broke Royal Protocol When Releasing Archie's First Photos & Her Reasoning Makes Absolute Sense

Meghan Markle is getting very candid about her life with the royal family. As she makes the rounds promoting her new podcast Archetypes, the actress and former princess opened up about the realities of balancing protocol — and the moments when she pushed back.

During a recent interview with The Cut, Markle explained that parents don’t have control when it comes to sharing a newborn royal’s photos. “There’s literally a structure by which if you want to release photos of your child, as a member of the family, you first have to give them to the Royal Rota (the U.K. media pool).” That didn’t sit well with Markle, given the way that tabloids had covered her. It’s too heinous to print here, but do a quick Google search and it’s easy to find the kind of headlines those outlets were printing about Markle, some of which have since been pulled.

“Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the N-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child?” she asked. “You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game.”

Instead, Markle and Prince Harry decided to start an Instagram account, separate from their royal one, and posted photos of Archie there. They would continue to use that account to share their own news and photos — refusing, as Markle put it, to indulge in the “exchange game.”

The former royal and current podcast host offered another rare look into stringent protocols during a recent interview with her friend Serena Williams on Archetypes. Markle explained that while on a South Africa tour in 2019, she was told to leave Archie in a housing unit while she was sent to an official engagement with Prince Harry. “We finish the engagement, we get in the car and they say there’s been a fire at the residence. What? There’s been a fire in the baby’s room. What?” she recalled.

Their nanny was in tears when they returned. “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’ … her instinct was like, Let me just bring him with me before I put him down,” Markle explained. “In that amount of time that she went downstairs, the heater in the nursery caught on fire. 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.”

Markle was then told that she would need to attend her next royal engagement, despite her protests that she wanted to stay home. “The focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels,” she said.

We have a feeling that we’re going to hear much, much more about the expectations for the royals — and the compulsion to break away from those expectations — in the future.

See the meaning of our favorite royal baby names from around the world.

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