Meghan Markle Shares What Post-Royal Parenting Looks Like For Her
The Duchess of Sussex gave a rare interview, opening up about motherhood, school drop-offs and making a new home with Prince Harry.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is loving her new life in Montecito, California. Healing after years of mental strife following a brief but turbulent royal existence, she’s now open to sharing her mission, her home, and her family.
“When the media has shaped the story around you, it’s really nice to be able to tell your own story,” Markle, 41, told The Cut for their latest cover story.
The feature touches on everything from Meghan and Prince Harry’s exit from the British monarchy to their much-discussed move to the U.S., and their unforgettable Oprah Winfrey interview in 2021. But some of the story’s highlights center around the Duke and Duchess’ family dynamic, and the beautiful ways they’re attempting to give their children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, a more normal upbringing.
After shielding themselves for the last few years, Meghan and Harry have begun to venture out into the world again — attending neighborly gatherings, kids’ birthday parties and preschool pickups. Although Meghan said people are sometimes surprised to see them at these types of events, she wants to be able to live as freely as possible (even if she’s still a bit hesitant to share too much).
At a recent birthday party for Archie’s classmate, Meghan said she was the lone parent in a bouncy castle. “I saw this 1-year-old inside. I was like, ‘Where’s your mom?’ And this mom on the outside goes, ‘Oh, hi! I’m here. I wasn’t sure if I should come in,’” Meghan explained, laughing. “I was like, ‘Do you need your child? Of course you can come in.’ ”
Meghan also talked about scooping up Archie from school and, according to The Cut’s Allison P. Davis, the little guy “knows his mother is at the gate of his preschool before the teacher even throws it open to set him free.” Archie’s so excited to see her, in fact, that he throws his arms around her in a tight embrace — both of them closing their eyes in genuine affection. Davis said Archie enjoyed a quesadilla and the Montecito sights on the ride home, stopping to hand out a kit with water, peanut-butter crackers and granola bars to a man in need. (“I ate one!” Archie reportedly shouted.)
If he were in school in the U.K., Meghan said school pickup and drop-off would just be another royal photo call. “Sorry, I have a problem with that,” she said. “That doesn’t make me obsessed with privacy. That makes me a strong and good parent protecting my child.”
In California, Archie gets to be a child who shares pickings from his garden with friends and “roars” at recess, and Meghan and Harry get to be, well, parents.
When Meghan and Archie arrived back at home after school, Harry was there to greet them, as was little sister Lilibet — who is cared for by a nanny. Harry beatboxed and danced to get his kids to smile, and Meghan joined in. Although both were close to their own parents, Meghan is currently estranged from her father, Thomas, who spoke about her to the press amid her royal wedding in 2018. And Harry is still grappling with the alleged drama instilled by his dad, Prince Charles.
“Harry said to me, ‘I lost my dad in this process,’” Meghan said. “It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.”
Right now, Meghan and Harry are focused on trying to teach Archie about manners: “We always tell him: ‘Manners make the man. Manners, manners, manners, manners, manners.’” And, most importantly, they try to remain a team.
Meghan recalled something she’d learned from a friend’s mom when she was younger: Salt and pepper are always passed together. “She said, ‘You never move one without the other,’” Meghan remembered. “That’s me and Harry. We’re like salt and pepper. We always move together.”