Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have ended the year by releasing their first podcast on Spotify – and it features their one-year-old son, Archie talking and giggling.
After inking a rumoured $40 million deal with the streaming giant, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released the podcast through their own Archewell Audio brand, in which they chatted to a host of stars, including Elton John, tennis star Naomi Osaka, British actor and US TV host, James Corden, author and alternative medicine pioneer Deepak Chopra, actor and producer Tyler Perry and US politician, Stacey Abrams.
But despite such A-list company, it was little Archie who stole the show. Heard giggling at the end of his parents' podcast, Harry and Meghan coaxed him into saying "Happy New Year", and he also said it was "fun" to speak into the microphone.
“You can speak into it,” Harry tells him. Meghan then asks: “Archie, is it fun?” and the little boy says “Fun”. His dad then says: “After me, ready? Happy.” Archie repeats, “Happy”, before Meghan and Harry together say “New”, and Archie says, “New Year”, making his mum and dad laugh.
‘Honouring compassion and kindness’
“It’s been a year, and we really we want to honour the compassion and kindness that has helped so many people get through it,” said Harry, 36, in his introduction. “As we come to the end of this year and look to the future… let’s hold onto the lessons we’ve learned about how important it is to take care of one another, and how meaningful our connections are… even when they're physically impossible.”
Meghan, 39, adds: “And, at the same time, to honour those who've experienced uncertainty and unthinkable loss.”
The couple then showed the fruits of their extensive contacts book by chatting to an array of famous people who shared “their thoughts on what they learned from 2020”, with Meghan revealing the pair chose those who “inspire us”.
Interviewing their famous friends
Elton John, who was a close friend of Princess Diana and has known Harry for most of his life, was a guest on the podcast, revealing in his audio diary the effect the pandemic has had on him: "I'm 73 years old, and I'm a semi-diabetic so I'm in a risky area there, I have an underlying condition as they say. I've seen my immediate family – Zachary, Elijah and David – all the time. But my relatives, who I love, haven't been able to see much of them at all, and I've only stayed connected with them by phone, of course, and by Zoom."
And Gone Girl actor, Tyler Perry, whose house Harry and Meghan stayed in when they first moved from Canada to Los Angeles, shared an insight into the charity work he has been involved with during the pandemic.
“The lowest moment came right before Thanksgiving,” he told the pair. “We were feeding 5,000 people at the studio and I got in the car to see the line and I realised 5,000 was not enough. The need was so great there was thousands more cars and people than gifts and groceries we had. To see people hungry and starving and children in the cars and people sleeping all night just to get groceries was heart breaking on so many levels.”
Ending with a message and a memory
The 33-minute show, dubbed a "holiday special" ended with the gospel song This Little Light of Mine, which was played at the end of their wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018.
Meghan then shared a quote from Martin Luther King, saying: “It was the music that we wanted playing when we started our lives together. Because as we all know, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.’”
And the former Suits star appeared to allude to the busy year she and Harry have had, during which they stepped down as senior royals and left the UK for the US, telling listeners: "From us I'll say no matter what life throws at you guys, trust us when we say, love wins."