Watch: Meghan Markle appears on the Ellen Show
Meghan Markle has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, in her second exclusive interview on US TV.
The Duchess of Sussex, 40, agreed to the chat as Ellen, 63, is a close friend. The two met in 2012 when Meghan visited a dog rescue shelter, where Ellen happened to be visiting, and the older TV star told the Duchess to 'take the dog.' (She did and adopted Bogart.)
It was generally assumed that when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave their first interview, it would be with the chat show host - but perhaps reflecting the serious nature of their allegations, and the huge global audience, they went for 'TV royalty' Oprah Winfrey.
In this interview, however, Markle revealed a less melancholy side of herself, in what was a much more upbeat chat with her friend and and neighbour in Montecito, the exclusive California zone where stars retreat to beach-front mansions.
DeGeneres' is a $27 million Balinese-influenced open-plan beach home, while the Duchess and Prince Harry live in a $14 million contemporary compound just down the road. Other neighbours include Orlando Bloom, Oprah Winfrey, and Ariana Grande - who bought her house from DeGeneres and wife Portia DeRossi.
It's a long way from Markle's early days as a struggling actor, she tells the chat show host in the interview, which aired last night.
Talking about her old car, she explains that the second hand vehicle had "a life of its own" and its front doors were broken. Unable to pay to have them fixed, she adds, she used to "climb out of the trunk".
"So I had this very old Ford Explorer Sport and at a certain point, the key stopped working on the driver's side, so you couldn't get yourself in through the door," she said. "So after auditions, I would park at the back of the parking lot and I would open the trunk and climb in, pull it shut behind me and crawl all over my seats to get out.
"That's how I would come to and fro. It was not ideal," she laughs. DeGeneres asks if anyone ever saw her do it, and Markle replies, "I'd play it off - 'oh I'm just looking for my resume..a highlighter for my script...' the things we do!"
The Duchess also reminisced about arriving at the studio where the interview is now being filmed.
"I would park on Gate Three and I would scoot on over and the security guards here would always say 'break a leg, I hope you get it'."
"You auditioned so often they knew you?" asks DeGeneres.
"They probably said that to everyone," Markle admits, laughing. "So driving in today was very different," she concludes.
The Duchess wore a white £1,991 Oscar De La Renta blouse and black tailored trousers, while opening up about the couple's family life in the US and how they had settled into life across the pond.
The couple, who relocated to the US after announcing they were stepping back as senior royals, have until now been incredibly private about their children, Archie and Lilibet.
They are yet to share a photo of their daughter, now five months, who was named with a tribute to the Queen's nickname.
But in this interview Markle shared some touching details about family life including that Archie is loving having a little sister.
"He loves being a big brother," the Duchess explained when asked about Archie. "Someone told Harry and me that when you have one kid it’s a hobby and two children its parenting.
"And suddenly we were like 'oh right'. Everyone talks about what it’s like for the second child but no one talks about the adjustment for the first child when the second one comes along."
She also shared an adorable new image of her son, Archie, feeding the family's chickens in stone-washed jeans and a grey top.
He had his back turned to the camera as he held a wicker basket to feed the chickens, in what appears to be Peppa Pig Wellington boots.
Markle also revealed how Archie, two, wore a dinosaur costume to celebrate Halloween while his younger sister dressed as a "little skunk, like Flower from Bambi".
But the children were "not into" the festivities, the Duchess said - with Archie staying in his costume for less than five minutes.
The tone of the conversation seemed much more upbeat and fun, in dramatic contrast to the sadness and resentment on view with Oprah Winfrey back in March.
During that conversation, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed that she'd had suicidal thoughts and received no help, and Prince Harry added that a "senior royal" had questioned the future skin colour of their baby while Markle was pregnant.
The sombre tone of those revelations wasn't in evidence this time around, which will no doubt have come as a relief to the Palace, who may have feared further shocks at a time when the Queen is unwell.
Both host and interviewee are currently dealing with personal issues, however - DeGeneres was accused of running a 'toxic workplace' last year, and ratings have plummeted since, so an interview with the Duchess is a coup for the TV star, who has hosted 19 seasons of The Ellen Show since 2003.
Meanwhile, Markle is embroiled in a court case with a currently under appeal, after she accused the newspaper of printing a private letter. New evidence may cast some doubt on her original claims.
However, those worries seemed to have been cast aside, as Markle happily chatted to DeGeneres about the teething pain suffered by daughter Lilibet, six months.
The royal admitted she's looking for “anything to relieve” Lilibet’s teething pain with the host suggesting: “Tequila, anything.”
"That’s Auntie Ellen for you!” Jokes Markle, before DeGeneres responded: “That’s why I don’t have kids.”
Markle also revealed a more playful side as she played a prank on unsuspecting members of the public as presenter DeGeneres whispered instructions about what to do in the royal's earpiece.
Appearing at a market stall, the Duchess shopped for crystals and continued to perform bizarre acts, such as nibbling a tortilla crisp like a chipmunk and singing a made-up song "I'm a kitten, meow, meow, meow" while wearing leopard-print cat ears.
She also held a crystal to her head while chanting and told one vendor selling hot sauce: "let mummy taste some", adding: "My boo loves hot sauce"
She then went on to swig milk from a baby bottle.
Markle also confided how she and Prince Harry attended a post-apocalypse themed Halloween party disguised in costumes when they were dating to enjoy "one final night on the town" before their romance was revealed.
They were joined by Prince Harry's cousin, Princess Eugenie and her now-husband, Jack Brooksbank, who were visiting them in Toronto, Canada.
"The four of us snuck out in Halloween costumes to just have one fun night on the town before it was out in the world that we were a couple," Markle recalled.
"It was a post-apocalypse theme. So we had all this very bizarre costuming on and we were able to just sort of have one final fun night out."
The Duchess certainly seemed to be in a very different place from six months ago.
Discussing the couple's decision to leave royal duties and move to Montecito, where they now run the Archewell foundation and have taken various ethical leadership position - and in Meghan's case, even written a children's book, The Bench, which she said she wrote as a poem for her husband on Father's Day.
"It was about my observation of him and him being a dad, which was the most beautiful thing to watch," she said.
DeGeneres asked: "Does Archie know he's in here? Does he know that's him and what does he think of the book?"
Markle replied: "He does. On that first page that you open and you see our dogs, he goes, 'That's Pula. That's Guy'."
Overall the Duchess says the couple and their children are currently "just happy" with life.
She and DeGeneres have been friends since their dog-shelter encounter in 2012, and the TV host and Portia DeRossi visited London to see the Sussexes after Archie was born.
DeGeneres later said on her show, "I see them get attacked and it's not fair. They are two of the most down-to-earth compassionate people, they're doing so much good for the world."
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