Meghan admits mother Doria still uses sweet nickname for her

Meghan Markle ‘attempting to rewrite history’ says Palmer

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Meghan Markle explored the freedom and fulfilment that can be found when we break away from societal labels in the latest episode of her podcast, Archetypes. She expressed the importance of uniqueness and individuality during open conversations with author Candace Bushnell and actress Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, both of whom have used their creative mediums to go beyond the stereotypes. 

In the Nineties, Candace wrote a column in the New York Observer called Sex and The City which told the stories of women navigating life and love in the big city; it was later compiled into a book and then adapted into the highly-successful television series by the same name. She challenged the idea of what a woman is supposed to be and instead introduced a fresh, modern lens on femininity. 

Michaela is an accomplished actor, singer, model and trans rights activist perhaps best known for her historic performance in the TV show Pose. Her portrayal of the fierce ballroom housemother Blanca Evangelista earned her an Emmy Award nomination  the first time a transgender woman received one for a major acting category. It also earned her a Golden Globe win, another major first for her and for the trans community. 

But, as Meghan explains, “before all that — she was a theatre kid growing up in Newark, New Jersey in the Nineties and Noughties. And she was known as simply MJ”. Michaela revealed the nickname stemmed from a character in Spiderman during her “childhood days”, but as she has continued to evolve — it has become Michaela Jaé. 

She said: “As a child, you come up with nicknames, but you don’t know how much of an impact they have on other people and also how people get stuck in that nickname. They get stuck in the name they’ve been calling you.” 

However, the actress shared that there is one nickname she has been kept on since her childhood. “My mum used to call me ‘boomper’ when I was a child. She still slips up and calls me it today, which I have no problem with because who doesn’t like being coddled by their mum?” she revealed. 

Meghan admitted her mum “still calls me ‘Flower'”. 

Michaela asked: “Don’t you love it though? There’s still a little piece of like, awe mama.” 

The Duchess responded: “I do, I’ll be a 41-year-old flower. That’s fine.” 

Her confession comes just weeks after Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, made a surprise appearance on the podcast. 

She shared a soundbite of a FaceTime call between her and Doria as the Duchess was recording the show from her Montecito home in California. 

Meghan said the unexpected moment made her reflect on the way in which Doria, who lives close by in Los Angeles, has supported her throughout her life. 

She went on to joke that they still do a handshake she came up with when she was eight years old, saying: “So, a few weeks ago while I was working on this very episode, my mum called. She actually FaceTimed.”

In the outtake, Meghan could be heard saying: “Oh sugar, my mum’s FaceTiming me.”

She then picked up the phone and said: “Hey, Mummy,” with Doria replying “Hey, how’s my girl?”. Meghan added: “Hey, I’m okay, I’m hanging in there, it’s okay, I’m recording right now. Do you want to see?

“We’re just doing some podcasting. Can I call you back in a little bit?” Doria commented: “I have on a smiley face,” with Meghan repeating, “I have on a smiley face, I love you.”

Following the release of the episode, professional voice analyst and body language expert Judi James spoke exclusively to to offer her opinion on Doria and Meghan’s interaction. 

She claimed: “Doria is so much in ‘Mummy’ mode here. Her voice is set at a higher pitch as though she is talking to a child and Meghan immediately modifies her softer, lower, more soothing pitch that she uses on her podcast to mirror and match her mother’s mother/child energy.

“Meghan’s ‘Hey mummy’ shifts her state to that more childlike state that complements her mother’s next few words of caring, nurturing concern. ‘How’s my girl?’ is spoken in full nurturing mode rather than pitched to sound like a shared joke or a rhetorical question.

“Doria elongates the word ‘girl’ as she asks, signalling concern and a desire to offer love and comfort. It sounds like the tone a mother uses when she really does want to offer time to listen to her daughter share any problems, worries or troubles as well as any good news. This very brief communication hints that Doria is there to support Meghan and offer a listening and probably approving ear whenever needed.”

Meghan then admitted to a particular thing she and her mum have done since she was a child. “My mum, she did this thing I do. You may have heard this clicking sound that she was doing,” she said. 

“All right, gang, my mum literally just pulled out a reference of what I came up with as a cool handshake to do with her when I was about eight, which was snap scissors, cut chicken,” she said, laughing. 

“I’m 41 years old. And she’s like, ‘okay’,” Meghan laughed into the microphone. “It’s great. And it just put me right back into the past thinking about my childhood and our little quirks together. And then with this episode on my brain, it got me thinking about all the ways my mum supported me, how she took care of me and the house and herself and how she just juggled so much.

“The amount that women carry, that they navigate  it’s immense, and it’s often the most thankless unpaid labour there is,” she added. 

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