Meghan Markle’s awkward encounter with Gary Barlow unearthed

Meghan Markle jokes with Take That in 2018

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Meghan Markle has found her place among the headlines again every week with each new release of her Archetypes podcast. This week’s instalment piqued further interest when it was revealed that she was deviating from the norm and welcoming three men — Andy Cohen, Trevor Noah and Judd Apatow — on to the show, a first for her predominantly female-inspired and powered work. Archetypes is all about exploring the negative stereotypes attributed to women by society, but Meghan admitted that she had not looked at that problem from the other side of the coin.

She said Prince Harry, her husband, had inspired her to welcome the trio of men after royal made a “pop-in” appearance in the first episode, the only man to do so.

Harry is no stranger to dropping in and out of things, having spent his entire life trying his hand at all sorts of ventures, like podcasting, the army, football — and even writing a book.

An unlikely episode that came in this saga, however, saw Meghan become flustered and momentarily embarrassed when she found out about his former musical escapades before they had met.

In 2018, Meghan and Harry joined with the band Take That at the Royal Variety show, and were pictured chatting together for a brief period. 

While it was all laughs and smiles, cameras soon caught an awkward moment between Gary Barlow and Meghan, when he turned to her and said of Harry: “He’s been on one of our records.”

The Duchess, unsure of how to perceive this, rearranged her hair and gave a small laugh, as though she were unsure whether Mr Barlow was joking or not.

Mr Barlow followed up: “We’re serious!”, to which Harry chipped in: “In Jamaica, wasn’t it?”

The Take That singer then replied: “That’s right. He really is on there.”

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Meghan, looking on in disbelief, and said: “Oh my goodness, you learn something new every day.”

Harry played the tamborine on Sing, a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mr Barlow, and which was performed by artists across the Commonwealth to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Clips online show Harry and Mr Barlow joking about the Duke’s appearance on the track in the process of its creation.

When the singer asks him to appear with just “one hit” on the tambourine, Harry replies: “It’s going to cost you!”


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To create the song, Mr Barlow travelled to many different parts of the world, including Treetops in Kenya, where the Queen had been staying with Prince Philip when she was told of her father’s death in 1952.

After completion, the song was presented to the Queen in May 2012, with Mr Barlow and Mr Lloyd-Webber gifting her a framed copy of the sheet music.

In its second week of release, Sing rose from number 11 to number 1 in the UK singles chart, and became Mr Barlow’s first chart-topping single since his 1997 hit Love Won’t Wait.

Meanwhile, returning to her Archetypes podcast, Meghan said of the process in which she has explored stereotypes: “Now, if you’ve been listening to the past 11 episodes, you may have noticed that you haven’t heard many men’s voices.

“In fact, until now, outside a pop-in from my husband in the first episode, this show has featured exclusively women’s voices.

“And that’s by design. It was important to us that women have a space to share their authentic and complicated, complex and dynamic experiences. To be heard. And to be understood.”

She continued: “But through that process, it also occurred to me — and truth be told, at the suggestion of my husband — that if we really want to shift how we think about gender and the limiting labels that we separate people into, then we have to broaden the conversation… and we have to actively include men in that conversation and certainly in that effort.”

The Duchess went on to say that she “enlisted very some very thoughtful men in the effort, men who’ve been behind some of the most successful movies and TV shows, but also, who are part of cultural conversation in such an impactful way through their roles in media, and also, for some of them, their roles as husbands and dads.”

There are 12 episodes off Archetypes in total, and they have generally been met with positive feedback from critics and the public.

At the beginning of September, Archetypes ranked as the No 1 podcast on Spotify in seven countries after its premiere episode, which featured tennis superstar Serena Williams.

As of the week commencing November 28, Archetypes was on a downward trend in the charts, sinking to number 34. 

You can listen to Archetpyes here. 

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