Family matters: Meghan Markle calls for paid family leave on 'The Ellen Show'

The Duchess of Sussex also reveals a photo of son Archie with his bright red hair inherited from dad, Prince Harry

Meghan Markle advocated for paid family leave during an appearance on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'. Photo: The Ellen Show/Twitter
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Appearing on NBC’s The Ellen Show show on Thursday night, Meghan Markle took part in a hidden camera stunt, revealed that her last "normal" night out was in costume and recalled turning up at the same Warner Bros studio for auditions back when she was an actor.

But the mother of two's underlying tone throughout the interview was her commitment to her family.

Dressed in a feminine Oscar De La Renta ivory blouse paired with tailored black trousers and Giorgio Armani pumps, the Duchess of Sussex chatted easily with talk show host and neighbour Ellen De Generes.

Meghan Markle wore an ivory Oscar De La Renta blouse with black trousers and Giorgio Armani pumps to appear on The Ellen Show on November 18. Photo: Warner Bros / Michael Rozman

Revealing a picture of her son Archie, 2, which clearly showed his crop of bright red hair, inherited from father Prince Harry, Meghan took the opportunity to advocate for compulsory paid family leave in the US.

“I think that people truly forget, or don’t even know, that in this country, it’s one of the only six countries in the entire world and the only wealthy nation in the entire world that does not mandate and have a federal paid leave programme,” said Meghan.

“Everybody knows, especially if you have had a child and even if you haven’t, you know how hard it is and how critical it is in those first few weeks, if not months, to be together as a family.

“And the fact that we don’t offer that here is something that now, as a mum of two, I will do everything that I can to make sure that we can implement that for people.”

Turning her focus to her own family, Meghan said that Archie is a “gentle soul” and that seeing Prince Harry being a dad “is the most beautiful thing to watch”.

(FILES) In this file photo  Meghan, Duchess of Sussex holds her baby son Archie as she and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah at the Tutu foundation in Cape Town on September 25, 2019. - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced on June 6, 2021 the birth of their daughter Lilibet Diana, who was born in California after a year of turmoil in Britain's royal family. "Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales," said a statement from the couple. (Photo by HENK KRUGER / POOL / AFP)

Prince Harry and Meghan welcomed baby Lilibet, their second child, earlier this year.

She also spoke about her The New York Times bestselling book, The Bench, which was published in June. Meghan shared that she originally penned the book as a poem for Prince Harry on Father’s Day.

When later turning it into a children's storybook, the former Suits actor made sure to keep the parts that explored the "softer side of masculinity" and the "softer side of fatherhood."

Meghan Markle shared a picture of two-year-old Archie with red hair inherited from his father, Prince Harry. Photo: The Ellen Show

She also spoke of ensuring the book was inclusive. "[I wanted to] make sure that everyone could see themselves in these pages because I remember as a little girl not to be able to see someone that looks like you."

Looking effortlessly chic on the show, Meghan also revealed that style didn't always come so easily to her.

Speaking about a picture DeGeneres shared of the Duchess of Sussex as a young girl with big hair, Meghan explained: "I was obsessed with Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral and all I wanted was that perfect little curly haircut."

"So I asked my mum, went to the hairdresser and got it, and on that first day I was like this is amazing. And then it was as though everyone forgot to tell me, you have ethnic hair, you are not going to look like Andie MacDowell … and I’d got to school and they said I looked like Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons.

Meghan also told DeGeneres that her husband Prince Harry is enjoying life in Montecito, California.

“It's just the lifestyle, and the weather’s pretty great. We’re just happy.”

Updated: December 01, 2021, 7:20 AM