Meghan’s famous friends give her podcast a free publicity boost: Designer Misha Nonoo and makeup artist Daniel Martin gush about the Duchess’ new Spotify series – despite critics slating it
- Meghan Markle’s pals have congratulated her following the release of podcast
- The Duchess, 41, chatted to Tennis champ Serena Williams in the first episode
- They discussed double standards women face when they are labelled ‘ambitious’
Meghan Markle’s friends have rushed to congratulate her following the release of her long-awaited Spotify podcast Archetypes.
BFF Misha Nonoo, a US-based British-Bahraini fashion designer, and the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding day makeup artist Daniel Martin led Meghan’s famous pals as they promoted the series on their Instagram accounts.
The Duchess, 41, chatted to close friend and Tennis champ Serena Williams about the double standards women face when they are labelled ‘ambitious’ in the first episode of her podcast, which was shared yesterday.
‘So thrilled for my dear friend to see this extraordinary project come to life. Incredibly thought provoking and insightful. I highly recommend listening to it,’ wrote Misha on her Instagram stories.
However, the podcast has been slammed by some critics who said it was ‘almost entirely preposterous’ and ‘just another way she can talk about herself’.
Meghan Markle’s friends have rushed to congratulate her following the release of her long-awaited Spotify podcast Archetypes. BFF Misha Nonoo (pictured together, right), a US-based British-Bahraini fashion designer, said she was ‘thrilled’
The Duchess of Sussex’s wedding day makeup artist Daniel Martin also led Meghan’s famous pals as they promoted the series on their Instagram accounts
Makeup artist Daniel (pictured) wrote: ‘FINALLY! So proud of you love,’ on his stories before sharing a post on his account.
Close college friend of Meghan’s, producer and author Lindsay Jill Roth, also took to her Instagram account to congratulate the Duchess
Roth is one of Meghan’s best friends from her days at Northwestern University. Pictured together at Wimbledon in 2019
Yet friends were keen to praise Meghan, with makeup artist Daniel writing: ‘FINALLY! So proud of you love,’ on his stories before sharing a post on his account.
‘I’m so excited for you all to hear this,’ he said. ‘Finally an opportunity for the world to hear who I’ve known for the past 10+ years.
‘An opportunity to discover and learn about the labels that have held women back through poignant and thoughtful discussions from historians to close friends @serenawilliams. So proud of you M! Link in my bio to listen!!! #dontbelievethetype @spotify.’
Close college friend of Meghan’s, producer and author Lindsay Jill Roth, also took to her Instagram account to congratulate the Duchess.
‘Check out my gorgeous friend’s new podcast on Spotify. With legend and role model Serena Williams,’ she wrote. ‘I’m so proud of you, Meg! Love you! And your courage. And vulnerability. And for you to be… you…’
Roth is one of Meghan’s best friends from her days at Northwestern University.
Meanwhile, Meghan’s pilates guru pal Heather Dorak also praised the Duchess online, writing: ‘So proud of you and so excited for your podcast to launch
‘Banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes’: Critics don’t hold back in their reviews of Meghan Markle’s first Archetypes podcast with Serena Williams
ByMark Duell for MailOnline
Meghan Markle’s new Spotify podcast has been slammed by critics who said it was ‘almost entirely preposterous’ and ‘just another way she can talk about herself’.
The Duchess of Sussex released her long-awaited Archetypes podcast yesterday in the form of a conversation with her close friend, tennis great Serena Williams.
But Celia Walden in the Telegraph said it was ‘an interview with this inspirational sporting figure in name only’, and that Meghan was ‘interviewing herself’.
She also said the Duchess was the sort of person ‘who hijacks every distressing anecdote with one of their own – only theirs is longer drawn-out, more distressing’.
The Spectator’s columnist Steerpike said it was ‘hard to believe that it took 28 people, including eight executive producers, to make the episode – plus Meghan’.
The review added that tennis enthusiasts who listen to the podcast to hear from Williams ‘might be a bit disappointed’ because it ‘is in fact all about Meghan’.
And James Marriott in The Times described it as a ‘tastefully soundtracked parade of banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes’.
His one-star review said the podcast will ‘make you feel you’ve been locked in the relaxation room of a wellness spa with an unusually self-involved yoga instructor’.
But in The Independent, Clémence Michallon told how the podcast made it clear that Meghan ‘made the right decision when she cut and ran’ from the Royal Family.
She said the story about how Meghan had to carry on with her duties after her son Archie narrowly escaped a fire in his room must have been ‘uniquely infuriating’.
Here, read some excerpts of some of the reviews of Meghan’s new podcast:
JAMES MARRIOTT – THE TIMES
Meghan Markle’s Archetypes podcast review — almost entirely preposterous
- ‘The Duchess of Sussex’s almost entirely preposterous new podcast Archetypes promises to ‘rip apart the boxes women have been placed into for generations’. On the evidence of the first episode – an interview with Serena Williams – it won’t really do this at all.’
- ‘The podcast is a tastefully soundtracked parade of banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes. The effect of all the tinkly music and vapid conversation is to make you feel you’ve been locked in the relaxation room of a wellness spa with an unusually self-involved yoga instructor.’
- ‘Even those sympathetic to Meghan’s plight (and I had once thought I might be one of those people) will find that the full hour of an episode of Archetypes will put them in an unusually grumpy mood.’
CELIA WALDEN – DAILY TELEGRAPH
Meghan’s podcast is just another way she can talk about herself
- ‘The podcast is an interview with this inspirational sporting figure in name only. If the rest of the season is anything like the premiere, what we’re really going to be listening into week after week is Meghan interviewing herself.’
- ‘Even the anecdote about how Meghan first met her supposed interviewee – at a 2010 Super Bowl party – is somehow turned into self-aggrandisement. Spotting Serena heading towards someone, Meghan wondered who on earth could have sparked this special woman’s interest, and – oh, my goodness! – it was her.’
- ‘Every woman has had a girlfriend like Meghan: the one who turns every confidence back to them and hijacks every distressing anecdote with one of their own – only theirs is longer drawn-out, more distressing.’
STEERPIKE – THE SPECTATOR
Meghan’s Archetypes podcast is really all about her
- ‘Harry has been shoved into the background, natch, so that Meghan can concentrate on talking about herself – sorry, Mr S meant to say, ‘on the labels that try to hold women back.’ Labels don’t try to do anything, of course, they are labels. But we should never let common sense get in the way of rich women talking about female empowerment.’
- ‘The first guest is Serena Williams, but tennis enthusiasts who tune in might be a bit disappointed. The show is in fact all about Meghan, since it takes 11 minutes for Serena to barely get a word in edgeways.’
- ‘It’s hard to believe that it took 28 people, including eight executive producers, to make the episode – plus Meghan herself, who is also listed as an ‘executive producer’ in the credits.’
CLEMENCE MICHALLON – THE INDEPENDENT
The royal family isn’t working for anyone — even the royals
- ‘I have never found it hard to understand why Markle and her husband chose to resign from their duties as royals, but if I did, this story [about Archie and the fire] would probably bring me some clarity.
- ‘There is something so relatably frustrating about that situation. Being confronted with a problem that could easily be solved with a little bit of pragmatism (they could have released a statement explaining what had happened and pushed back official engagements until the next day) and being told it can’t be for completely amorphous reasons (optics, stiff upper lip, ‘it’s not the way things are done around here’) is uniquely infuriating.
- ‘The more I hear about the royal family these days, the more it seems clear that the monarchy isn’t working for anyone – including the royals themselves. And from what we’ve heard on her podcast, it’s clear Markle made the right decision when she cut and ran.’
HILARY ROSE – THE TIMES
Meghan’s podcast: an insight about her private life? Yes, another one
- ‘In hindsight, I should have beaten myself unconscious an hour ago with a copy of Finding Freedom. Instead, I’ve listened to 57 minutes and 28 seconds of Meghan Markle’s syrupy California drawl, while rocking back and forth and moaning softly under my breath.’
- ‘It seems to be an allegory of all the many ways in which she, a fierce, strong, brave woman was wronged and traduced in the ten minutes she lived in the UK and was fêted as the best thing to happen to the royal family in years. Her podcast is pure, narcissistic gibberish and next week she’s ‘in conversation’ with Mariah Carey. Shoot me now.’
ELLA WHELAN – GOOD MORNING BRITAIN
- ‘One of the things I admire about British sensibility is a desire to prick people’s balloon heads when they get too big, which I don’t think is a bad thing. The thing for me is ambition is only worth celebrating if what you’re being ambitious is worthwhile.’
- ‘The problem with Meghan Markle and other celebrities or royals, very kind of powerful professional women, talking, whining I think, about the fact that it’s so hard when all you’re doing is trying to be ambitious is that it comes across I think to your average woman – maybe the ladies who are watching this morning trying to get the kids ready to go out, or hoovering the sitting room, or off to their job – as just the kind of professional middle class feminism, whining about not being celebrated enough.’
KINSEY SCHOFIELD – GB NEWS
- ‘Outside looking in, there’s an ulterior motive here with this podcast and that’s settling scores.
- ‘With this episode, you kind of see her go after Tom Bower, responding to his claim that she’s ambitious and scheming. The book also say that Serena Williams told a media contact they weren’t necessarily good friends and he also questions her Procter and Gamble story. She goes into all those things in the very first episode in her podcast, I think that those might be related.’
BEL MOONEY – DAILY MAIL
Giggling, gushing – and old grievances
- ‘This bizarre, saccharine and faintly queasy schmooze-fest between Meghan and ‘my dear friend Serena’ (as we hear over and over again) tells us next to nothing at all about the making of Serena Williams’s towering ambition.’
- ‘This podcast is yet another example of the inescapable truth that Britain and the USA are two nations divided by a common language. No British broadcaster would sanction the almost incomprehensible giggling and gushing between Meghan and her guest that excludes the listener from any real understanding or intimacy.’
- ‘Instead of treating the podcast interview (she calls it a ‘chat’) with Serena seriously, Meghan uses it as a vehicle to air her old grievances – the kind of gossipy, headline-making stuff that will make the Spotify execs sigh with relief that their investment in the duchess has delivered.’
ANGELA LEVIN – MAILONLINE
- ‘She would still be a D-list celebrity if she had not married a prince. She aligns herself with them [Serena Williams and next podcast guest Mariah Carey], but they have done brilliantly and overcome difficult childhood, whereas she has married a prince and spent a lot of money.’
- ‘She thought it was normal to be ambitious and only when she started dating Harry did she realise that it was not welcomed. My goodness, that is a smack at Harry and a punch to the Royal Family. Harry told her about life in the Royal Family, but she obviously did not want to listen.’
- ‘Why is everything so hard for her? Because she won’t accept where she is and make the best of it. She has had a nanny when most could not. She has said will see the real her, well she needs to justify the ambition claim she is making.’
RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS – MAILONLINE
- ‘She undoubtedly feels she has been singled out. The interview was about The Misconception of Ambition, but the implication here is that after she dated Harry she feels she was picked on. She was ambitious beforehand and did well in Suits but that is not top league television.’
- ‘There is surely nothing wrong in being ambitious and being royal, in fact the role positively encourages a member of the royal family to be ambitious to help those in need. Diana was very ambitious, her charitable work and her public profile were synonymous, ultimately fatefully so, but she did immense good.’
- ‘This is a very negative view of women, we all know they have been breaking the glass ceiling for many years now. Her podcast, with a fascinating guest famous for her ambition on the tennis court, totally ignores this.’
Meanwhile, Meghan’s pilates guru pal Heather Dorak also praised the Duchess online, writing: ‘So proud of you and so excited for your podcast to launch.
‘An especially important format for these times… Women talking openly to each other about the labels, challenges, stigmas and expectations we all face. Love you beautiful girl!’
Heather, who originates from Texas but is now based in LA, became Meghan’s coach when she worked on Suits and attended the royal wedding in May 2018 with her husband Matt Cohen.
She has been a key part of her North American inner circle since Megxit, visiting Prince Harry and Meghan in Canada in January 2020 shortly after they left the UK after stepping back as senior royals.
Pals: Serena Williams took to Instagram on Tuesday to promote her appearance on Meghan’s first podcast episode, which was released earlier that day
Fun! In her caption, she wrote: ‘I loved talking about so many important topics with my dear friend Meghan as her first guest on #archetypes for @spotify!’
Serena Williams also took to Instagram on Tuesday to promote her appearance on Meghan’s first podcast episode, which was released earlier that day.
‘I was SO tired!’ Meghan Markle says she ‘waddled around’ during pregnancies – while praising Serena Williams for looking ‘sexy’ while expecting on her new Archetypes podcast
Meghan Markle has revealed she was ‘so tired’ during her pregnancies – while praising Serena Williams for looking ‘sexy’ while expecting on her new Archetypes podcast.
In the first episode of the podcast, entitled ‘The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams’, the Duchess of Sussex spoke to the tennis legend, who is one of her close friends, about double standards women face when they are labelled ‘ambitious’.
In one clip, Serena spoke about how she ‘loved being pregnant’, with Meghan going on to praise her for posing naked on the cover of Vanity Fair with ‘that belly chain.’
The royal mother-of-two continued: ‘Forget it. Yeah. Yeah. It’s just like everything. You made pregnancy looks so sexy. I just waddled around. I was just tired. So tired. Oh my god.’
Meghan welcomed her first son Archie Harrison in May 2019, while her daughter Lilibet was born in June last year. Meanwhile Serena had her daughter Olympia in 2017.
Starting the discussion on pregnancy, Serena said: ‘I was like, oh, I love this. The nothing, nothing’s oh, I’m so happy. Like, I was literally.’
Meghan went on to refer to the athlete’s 2017 cover of Vanity Fair, in which Serena posed naked with a piece of jewellery draped across her body.
She said: ‘Oh, with the belly chain.’
Serena added: ‘One of…Those women.’
And after the Duchess said ‘forget it’, Serena added: ‘I was the annoying one. You were under a lot of stress.’
Meghan agreed, saying: ‘Yeah, it’s true.’
The tennis player, 40, shared a black-and-white snap which saw her cosy up to Meghan, who looked chic in a coat which she layered over a denim outfit.
Meanwhile, Serena wore a tight Nike sports vest and joggers, while carrying her daughter Olympia, four, who she shares with her husband Alexis Ohanian, 39.
In her caption, she wrote: ‘I loved talking about so many important topics with my dear friend Meghan as her first guest on #archetypes for @spotify! It’s out now and worth the listen, especially if you’re ambitious.’
During the episode, Meghan recalled how Archie, now three, narrowly escaped a fire in his bedroom on the Sussexes’ royal tour to South Africa in autumn 2019.
She spoke of her distress after learning of the near-miss soon after delivering an empowering speech to girls in the Nyanga township in Cape Town, before rushing back to see Archie and then having to leave him to carry out another official engagement.
She praised Archie’s then nanny, named only as Lauren – a Zimbabwean who liked to tie him on her back with a mud cloth – as ‘amazing’ when recalling the incident.
Meghan added that Lauren stayed with the family until they left for Canada – before the Duchess and Prince Harry moved to the US after stepping back from their roles in the royal family.
Speaking on her podcast, the Duchess said: ‘There was this moment where I’m standing on a tree stump and I’m giving this speech to women and girls, and 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.’
‘…We get back, our amazing nanny, Lauren, who we’d had all the way until, um. In Canada here. Lauren in floods of tears. 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.”
‘And she was from Zimbabwe and we loved that she would always tie him on her, her back with a mud cloth, and her instinct was like, “Let me just bring him with me before I put him down”. In that amount of time that she went downstairs… the heater in the nursery caught on fire.
Meghan added: ‘Everyone’s in tears, everyone’s shaken. And what do we have to do? Go out and do another official engagement. I said, “This doesn’t make any sense”.’
The Sussexes had dropped their young son off at the housing unit they were staying in for a sleep straight after flying in for their official tour in 2019, with the couple then leaving to kick start their royal visit with their first engagement.
Meghan makes a speech as she visits a Justice Desk initiative in Nyanga township, with Prince Harry during their royal tour of South Africa on September 23, 2019. Just after, she says was told that her son’s bedroom was on fire
Meghan spoke of her frustration that she immediately had to do another official engagement after the fire (pictured doing so with Harry later the same day)
Meghan recalled: ‘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.’
Harry tells Serena Williams her hair is a ‘vibe’ and invites her to ‘come see us’ as he makes impromptu appearance in Meghan’s podcast chat
Prince Harry made an impromptu appearance on wife Meghan Markle ‘s hotly-anticipated Spotify podcast.
Entitled The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams , Meghan talks to her close friend and tennis superstar Williams about the double standards women face when they are labelled ‘ambitious’.
Harry made an appearance in the episode, with Meghan saying: ‘You wanna come say hi? Look who just popped in.’
Meghan and Williams greeted Harry with ‘hello’ in British accents, while Prince Harry told Williams: ‘I like what you’ve done with your hair. That’s a great vibe.’
Williams replied: ‘Thank you. Good to see you too as always, I miss you guys.’
The duke said, ‘Well come and see us’, with Meghan saying they would make a plan.
As Harry leaves, Meghan remarked: ‘Thanks my love.’
The duchess described how she wanted to tell people what had happened.
‘I was like, Can you just tell people what happened? And so much, I think, optically, the focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels,’ she said.
She stressed the need for more understanding of the ‘human moments behind the scenes’.
The duchess added: ‘We had to leave our baby… and even though we were being moved into another place afterwards, we still had to leave him and go do another official engagement.’
Williams replied: ‘I couldn’t have done that.’
Later the same day, the couple had visited Cape Town’s historic District Six neighbourhood, met residents in its Homecoming Centre and heard from people who were forcibly removed to a township during the Apartheid era, with the Sussexes also carrying out an impromptu walkabout.
Elsewhere in the first episode of her podcast, which discussed the double standards women face when they are labelled ‘ambitious’, Meghan said: ‘I don’t remember ever personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word ambitious until I started dating my now husband.’
Williams also revealed how Harry helped her with her decision to retire from tennis long before it was announced, spending around an hour discussing the issue with her.
‘He was trying to knock some sense into me,’ Williams said.
Meghan, who stepped away from the monarchy with the Queen’s grandson for a new life in California, said to Williams: ‘I think, you know, I think both of us, or the three of us, really know that sometimes the right decision isn’t the easiest decision.’
How Meghan and Serena became BFFs: Aspiring actress met the tennis ace at a 2010 Super Bowl party before featuring her on her blog – then invited her to her wedding and star-studded baby shower after she met Harry
Meghan Markle and Serena Williams first met at a Super Bowl party in 2010 and eventually became close friends.
The Duchess of Sussex, 41, and the American tennis champ, 40, chat to one another on the royal’s first Archetypes podcast, released on Spotify today, about the double standards women face when they are labelled ‘ambitious’.
Serena, who recently announced her retirement from the sport, explains during the first episode of the highly anticipated series that she is ‘super loyal, to a fault’ after being ‘friends for so long’ with the Duchess.
Meghan met Serena briefly in 2010, and again in 2014, explaining on her now defunct blog The Tig that the pair ‘hit it off immediately’.
The Duchess invited the sportswoman to her wedding to Prince Harry and her star-studded baby shower when pregnant with Archie in New York City in February.
Serena, who equally isn’t shy about her friendship with Prince Harry’s wife, previously advised Meghan to ‘stop being so nice’ and also praised her ‘class and poise’ in the famous Oprah interview.
Meghan Markle and Serena Williams (pictured in 2014) first met at a Super Bowl party in 2010 and eventually became close friends
The Duchess of Sussex, 41, and the American tennis champ (pictured with husband Alexis Ohanian at Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry) , 40, chat to one another on the royal’s first Archetypes podcast, released on Spotify today, about the double standards women face when they are labelled ‘ambitious’
Williams was in attendance for Markle’s blowout baby shower in New York City in February 2019, a few months before she gave birth to son Archie with her husband Prince Harry
According to Mark Hodgkinson in Serena: A Graphic Biography of the Greatest Tennis Champion, the women’s friendship quickly evolved through frequent phone calls and texts.
After becoming Prince Harry’s girlfriend and then a Duchess, Markle leaned on Serena for mentoring on how to handle the paparazzi and the international media.
Serena advised her to ‘stop being so nice’, according to the author.
And when Meghan learned she was pregnant shortly after Serena’s little girl was born, Serena offered her parenting advice.
Last year, Williams revealed: ‘We have known each other for a long time, but we really are relying on each other a lot recently.’
She added that watching Meghan marry Prince Harry in May 2018 was particularly special.
Meghan and Serena have been close friends since 2014 after having their first ‘real hangout’ at the DirecTV Beach Bowl (pictured), although they briefly crossed paths in 2010 at the SuperBowl
Serena said: ‘It was really exciting to see so much African-American culture in the wedding and I was really happy that Meghan wanted to incorporate that into it. It was just a whole cultural shift and change.
‘It was seeing how far African-Americans have come. I thought it was an incredibly inspiring and beautiful and really motivating thing. I was so proud of her and so happy for her.’
Meanwhile, in 2021, Serena praised Meghan, saying she is the ‘epitome of class and strength’ following her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
She spoke to Behnaz Ghahramani the Chief Marketing Officer for Stuart Weitzman for their debut episode of the Shine Series, where she discussed her long-term friendship with the royal.
She described Meghan as ‘the strongest person she knows’.
‘Meghan is a great person and I think the epitome of strength, the epitome of confidence, the epitome of just selflessness, and the epitome of everything is just her and everything that she’s gone through,’ the tennis player told the Shine series.
‘You can see from the interview that it wasn’t easy. But she had so much poise and she still had so much class,’ she added.
‘I just think that she is the strongest person I know. I don’t know anyone else that could handle anything on such a global scale the way that she’s had to handle things that are just untrue – minute after minute.
‘Not even day after day. Just minute after minute, another untrue allegation being thrown at her,’ she added.
‘I think it was important for me to say something because I’m tired of sitting back and seeing all this negativity that’s just not true,’ she went on.
Meghan and Serena have been close friends since 2014 after having their first ‘real hangout’ at the DirecTV Beach Bowl, although they briefly crossed paths in 2010 at the SuperBowl.
Meghan Markle has a long-standing relationship with tennis ace Serena Williams (pictured at the Duchess’s wedding in 2018 between her husband Alexis Ohanian and Markle’s friend and Suits co-star Abigail Spencer)
The Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle watch Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon final, which Simona Halep won
Meghan, who was starring on Suits at the time, wrote on her now defunct blog The Tig: ‘We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girlie stuff. So began our friendship’.
It comes after Serena defended Meghan following a backlash during the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In a statement on Twitter after the interview aired, Williams – who was among those to attend Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry – described her as a ‘selfless friend’ who ‘teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble’.
‘Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced,’ Williams wrote.
‘I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us. We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism.
‘The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.
‘I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.
‘Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.’
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