Diva moments and being ‘treated as a Black woman’ — the key revelations from Meghan Markle’s podcast with Mariah Carey

·4-min read
Diva moments and being ‘treated as a Black woman’ — the key revelations from Meghan Markle’s podcast with Mariah Carey

The Duchess of Sussex has got into the world of podcasting with her new Spotify show, Archetypes.

In her latest episode, entitled The Duality Of Diva, she spoke to pop star Mariah Carey about the ‘complexities’ surrounding the word diva and its negative connotations.

These were the key moments from the chat...

Meghan’s life only became focused on race after she began dating Prince Harry

‘I mean, if there’s any time in my life that it’s been more focused on my race, it’s only once I started dating my husband,’ Meghan told the singer.

‘Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a black woman, because up until then I had been treated like a mixed woman, and things really shifted.’

 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Mariah felt she didn’t fit in at school

Born in Huntington, New York, the artist said: ‘I didn’t fit in, it would be more of the black area of town, or then you could be where my mom chose to live, where there were more white neighbourhoods and I didn’t fit in anywhere at all.’

She also revealed she was teased by a boy for only owning three shirts. She said: ‘In a world where you’re the mixed kid of a full-on white neighbourhood, that’s what you get.’

Meghan Markle records her Archetypes podcast (Spotify/YouTube)
Meghan Markle records her Archetypes podcast (Spotify/YouTube)

Chatting to Mariah made Meghan reflect on her own ‘complicated feelings’

Speaking in a voiceover after the interview, Meghan said: ‘Mariah’s own relationship with the diva, the nuances she sees, the history, both personal and cultural that she carries, she’s got me thinking even more deeply about my own complicated feelings towards the label.’

The pair discussed race

The Duchess of Sussex told Mariah: ‘You were so formative for me. Representation matters so much. But when you are a woman and you don’t see a woman who looks like you somewhere in a position of power or influence, or even just on the screen – because we know how influential media is – you came onto the scene, I was like ‘oh my gosh. Someone… Someone kind of looks like me.’

Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)
Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

A little later in the chat, Meghan said: ‘for us, it’s very different because we’re light skinned. You’re not treated as a Black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between." Mariah says, "I always thought it should be okay to say I’m mixed. Like it should be okay to say that. But people want you to choose.’

Mariah said Meghan gave ‘diva moments’

Mariah Carey, 53, said to a shocked Meghan: ‘You give us diva moments sometimes Meghan.

Meghan replied: ‘I do? What kind of diva moments do I give you?’

Carey replied that it’s mostly down to “the look”. Later in the podcast, Meghan, 41, said: ‘I didn’t see that coming.’

Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day (REUTERS)
Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day (REUTERS)

She added: ‘But that aside, it [the interview with Carey] was all going swimmingly, I mean really well. Until that moment happened, which I don’t know about you, but it stopped me in my tracks… when she called me a diva!

‘You couldn’t see me,  obviously, but I started to sweat a little bit. I started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt, like, wait, wait, no, what? How? But? How could you? That’s not true, that’s not… Why would you say that? My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that. I just kept thinking, in that moment, was my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me?’

But she clarified that the popstar had meant it as a compliment.

‘When she said diva, she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture, the clothing, the quote unquote, fabulousness as she sees it,’ she said.

‘She meant diva as a compliment. But I heard it as a dig. I heard it as the word diva, as I think of it. But, in that moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational. And how one very charged word can mean something different for each of us, it’s mind blowing to me.’