A Royal Listen

Telling her story and that of other women on her Spotify original podcast titled “Archetypes.” The podcast skyrocketed to number one on Spotify for its first two weeks.

The podcast aired on Aug. 23, with three new episodes airing every Tuesday. However, due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, episodes have been paused, which, according to The Verge, is “in observance of the official mourning period for Queen Elizabeth II, which will end on Sept. 20.”

Meghan is sharing conversations with famous women about their personal lives, family matters and gender stereotypes. They come together to share their different perspectives and experiences and talk through them.

The Duchess grew up as Rachel Meghan Markle in Los Angeles. She had a career as an actress, which began in Toronto, Canada. She then met her future husband Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, on a blind date in 2016.

“I’m very surprised she’s doing this, as the reason she and Harry relocated from the UK was to maintain a low profile and to live apart from the glare of the cameras, the pressures of the Royal family and tabloids,” said Prof. Gary Rose, Department Chair of Government and Politics.

The royals left the monarchy in January 2020. “I was like, this is toxic. So, I did what any husband and any father would do,” said Prince Harry on “The Late Late Show.”

According to Yahoo, there have been reports of concern coming from the Palace. Buckingham Palace aides were reportedly worried about what else might be shared over the next 12 weeks. The article references a flood of negative backlash from British media outlets such as Daily Mail.

Dr. Callie Tabor from the Department of Catholic Studies said, “British tabloids are very cruel and happy to stroke sexism and racism.”

The Duchess speaks about labels in her first episode, “The Misconception of Ambition,” guest starring professional tennis champion Serena Williams. They elaborate on the idea that ambition means something different for women. She includes the derogatory language that the British media has said such as “bimbo” and “dragon lady.”

As part of her podcast, Markle gave Williams advice on her retirement. The Grand Slam champion played her last U.S. Open match on Sept. 3 after a 27-year-long career.

In addition to Williams, Markle invited comedian Amanda Seales to speak in the introduction on the meaning of being a diva.

Dr. Lori Bindig Yousman, the Department Chair of Communication & Media Studies, explained that an array of women, no matter their role in society, face issues like this. “How women are stereotyped impacts them in all these other venues. It’s not just rich people or celebrities who are maybe cast in these roles,” she said.

The last two episodes included pop star Mariah Carey and actress Mindy Kaling.

“I have listened to just one episode of the podcast – the episode with Mindy Kaling. I enjoyed the mix of personal stories, clips and interviews. I thought the interview did a nice job of raising questions about the ‘spinster’ label pinned on women, noticing that ‘archetype,’ to use the show’s language, still lives in our society,” said Tabor.

New York Magazine’s The Cut identified upcoming guests including Issa Rae, Margaret Cho and Constance Wu.

“It’s really timely and important and I think anyone who is speaking out, it can be really hard to say things people don’t want to hear. We have a very romanticized view of the monarchy, it’s kind of a fairytale, there’s a fascination, and people don’t want to hear it when it’s not a Disney movie,” said Bindig Yousman.

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