The Duchess claimed in the first episode of her new Spotify podcast that a fire broke out at her South African residence, while Archie was inside. Meghan’s claims have now been confirmed by a source who was part of her security detail during her 10-day trip to South Africa in 2019. The source said she personally saw the badly melted radiator in Archie’s nursery . They added that after Meghan received a message that there was a fire in the house, her vehicle became detached from the security convoy.
After returning home, the source claimed Meghan “locked herself” inside “like all mothers would” if they feared for their child.
The insider’s claims are the first confirmation that the fire actually happened after the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office declined to comment.
The source told the Citizen that the fire at the official residence provided by the British High Commission was never reported and that British police told them to “shut up”.
Describing the scene as they entered the residence, the source said: “When we got to the house the housekeeper called me and showed me the radiator that had burned out and told me what happened. came by and told me the child wasn’t in the room at the time the heater burned out.
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“She said they smelled it, came up and saw the smoke. The house didn’t burn, the room didn’t burn. I didn’t see the fire but I saw the radiator when it came out of the room. The plastic was badly melted.”
The insider added that they could not confirm if Archie was in danger from the fire, but said a new heater had just been purchased to keep him warm.
They continued: “The fire went unreported. When we were outside we discussed what we were going to do about it. The consensus was ‘guys, it’s going to look bad for us or Africa. from the south or whoever.
“The UK police guys actually told us to leave it as it is, not to talk about it”, so we decided not to expose this thing.
Describing the event, she said: “There was this moment where I stand on a tree stump and I give this speech to women and girls, and we end the engagement, we get in the car and they say there was a fire at the residence.”
Meghan said that just before the fire, Archie’s nanny took him downstairs for a snack.
She said: “‘During that time she was downstairs, the radiator in the nursery caught fire. There was no smoke detector. Someone just smelled smoke in the hallway, is came in, fire extinguisher. He was supposed to sleep in there.”
The Duchess described her frustration at having to continue her commitments after the fire.
She said, “We came back. And, of course, as a mother, you say, ‘Oh, my God, what? “Everybody’s in tears, everybody’s shaken. And what do we do? Go out and do another official engagement. I said, ‘That doesn’t make any sense.
“We had to leave our baby…and even though we were moved to another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go and do another official engagement.”
Meghan and Harry’s controversial tour of South Africa took place in the fall of 2019, just months before the couple stepped down as senior royals.
The first two episodes of the Duchess’ podcast, Archetypes, which aims to explore the labels that hold women back, are now available on Spotify.