Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was once a huge “Real Housewives” fan — but not anymore.
In a recent episode of her Spotify podcast, “Archetypes,” the former Meghan Markle, 41, explained to guest Andy Cohen — the executive producer of the Bravo reality franchise — why her feelings evolved about the various “Real Housewives” shows.
“Well, I will tell you the truth. I stopped watching the ‘Housewives’ when my life had its own level of drama that I stopped craving,” she said.
“I get why it was such a huge, huge part of pop culture,” she continued. “And when it began, because you began with Orange County and I’m from California, at least it felt remotely like a world that I knew but still felt so foreign.
“But I mean, I would say almost every one of my friends still watches it, and I go, ‘Why are you watching that?’” she added. “There’s so much drama.”
She and Cohen, 54, also shared a funny moment when she revealed that she had met him twice years ago — which Cohen had no memory of.
“‘Suits’ wasn’t even on yet. The pilot hadn’t even aired, and there was some sort of event for USA and Bravo at the SLS Hotel,” the duchess shared about the first time they met in Los Angeles. “And I was such a huge fan …”
“Oh, no, and I ruined it,” Cohen quipped.
“No, you didn’t. You didn’t. You were, you were perfectly, you did that thing,” Meghan said. “Where you, your eyebrows went up. I was gushing. I was like, da da da da da. And you said, ‘Uh-huh.’”
She added that years ago, she had wanted to be a guest on “Watch What Happens Live.”
“I was so eager to be on your show because I was such a ‘Housewives’ fan at the time, and I just couldn’t get booked, Andy!” she said. “So thanks for being here with me.”
The duchess also got candid about her “mixed feelings” about the “Real Housewives” phenomenon.
“I’ll be honest, I’m conflicted about this. Not about (Cohen’s) success — his rightfully deserved success — but on what his success, specifically with this franchise, has been based off of,” she said in a voice-over during the episode.
“Are we exploring giving women the space and allowance to be exactly who they are? As complicated, layered, challenging, funny, silly, etc.,” she added. “Or, in a franchise like ‘Housewives’ are we fueling the fire of archetypes by creating caricatures of women?”
She and Cohen shared a thoughtful exchange about how the “Real Housewives” franchise represents women, and what it has meant to women over the years.
“I think ‘The (Real) Housewives of New York (City),’ to me, in a crazy, crazy way, is actually one of the most feminist shows on TV,” Cohen said. “It’s about women who are over 50, close to 60, who are so in touch with their sexuality, but they don’t need men to define them and they’re in control.”
He also revealed why he thinks “Real Housewives” appeals to so many people.
“I think also we love judging human behavior,” he said. “And so it’s a way to kind of judge other people’s behaviors in, kind of, a guilt-free way without, you know, feeling bad about it. It’s like an excuse to gossip about friends who aren’t really our friends.”