Meghan Markle left a group of Los Angeles street vendors open-mouthed in shock by dancing and singing in front of them while referring to herself as ‘mommy’ as part of a cringe-worthy on-the-street prank with her close friend and TV host Ellen DeGeneres – having also used her appearance on the show to renew her calls for mandatory paid leave for families in the US.
The 40-year-old Duchess of Sussex made a clear attempt to distance herself from the royal family’s reserved image during her surprise appearance on close friend Ellen’s talk show on Thursday, when she stepped outside of the studio to pull a prank on a trio of vendors, which saw her forced to do and say whatever the talk show host told her to via a hidden ear piece.
To kick off the prank, a gleeful Ellen, 63, asked Meghan to touch her elbow and nose, and then do a squat to confirm that she could hear all of the talk show host’s instructions, while one of the series’ producers approached the vendors to inform them that the Duchess of Sussex wished to browse their stalls.
‘I am executive assistant to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and she’s here today and would love to just shop normally,’ the producer – using the name Pwamma – told them. ‘She just wants to be treated normally. Don’t try to act any other way, just totally normal. Is that cool?’
Meghan then approached the first vendor and began inspecting the crystals on their stall, before Ellen instructed her to hold one to her head and begin groaning and moaning.
‘I’m going to hold this against my head,’ the mother-of-two told the perplexed salesperson, before closing her eyes and mumbling, adding: ‘That is wonderful.’
Prankster: Meghan Markle swigged milk from a baby bottle, sang a kitten song, and danced to ‘hot, hot, hot’ while taking part in a toe-curling on-the-street prank with Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday
‘Let mommy have a taste’: The 40-year-old made a clear attempt to distance herself from the royal family’s reserved image by pranking a trio of street vendors while her close friend Ellen, 63, told her what to do and say
Moving on to the next vendor, who was showcasing different varieties of hot sauce, Meghan began ‘bouncing up and down’ in excitement at Ellen’s request, asking the man: ‘What do we have here? What have you got, what have you got, what have you got?’
Inspecting the bottles of hot sauce lined up on the table, Meghan then told the baffled vendor: ‘Let mommy have a taste,’ before telling him, ‘My boo loves hot sauce.’
After being presented with a hot sauce covered chip, the Duchess proceeded to chomp down on it ‘like a chipmunk’ and Ellen’s behest, nibbling on the snack while holding it to her mouth with both hands, before telling the salesman: ‘That’s not spicy! Let me try something real hot, mommy wants some heat.
‘Let’s get the spiciest, let’s get the hottest.’
Seizing another chip from the man, Meghan was then instructed to ‘shove the whole thing in her mouth’ – and then begin furiously fanning at her face while saying: ‘Oh lordy, lordy, lordy.
‘I’m feeling hot, hot, hot,’ she then sang to the tune of the hit song by The Merrymen. ‘Mommy needs some milk.’
The Duchess went on to pull out a baby bottle from her purse and vigorously swig milk from it, all while the vendor looked on open-mouthed, unable to hide his bewilderment over her behavior.
However, while Meghan took the chance to try and put forward a more light-hearted, goofy image – a far cry from the very reserved reputation of the Monarchy, she also seized her on-air opportunity to renew her calls for compulsory paid family leave, telling Ellen that she would do ‘everything that I can’ to make paid family leave law for all Americans.
The Duchess recently stepped outside of royal protocol with a letter to Congress asking them to consider making the proposal compulsory. However, she has come under fire for calling Republican senators and using her royal title to urge them to vote in favor of paid leave.
Republican Representative Jason Smith of Missouri, who has previously condemned Meghan for interference in US politics, even suggesting she should be stripped of her title to stop her using it to gain political leverage.
Ohm: Meghan approached three stalls and browsed the wares of each one – including a range of holistic items on the first, where she put a crystal up to her head and began groaning
The Duchess also began eating chips ‘like a chipmunk’ while trying a variety of hot sauces at another stall, where she referred to herself as ‘mommy’ and told the vendor that ‘her boo likes loves hot sauce
At one point, Meghan also pulled two pairs of cat ears out of her purse, telling a third vendor that she wanted to show her ‘what she does for her kids to entertain them’
The Duchess put the ears on herself and one of Ellen’s producers – who was masquerading as Meghan’s ‘executive assistant’ – and began to sing to the vendor: ‘I’m a kitten, mew mew mew. You’re a kitten, mew mew mew,’ all while Ellen watched on
‘Pwamma and I are going to show you what mommy does. Pwamma you put one on and I’ll put one on. This is what I do for my kids to cheer them up,’ Meghan told the vendor
Meghan told The Ellen Show: ‘I think that people truly forget, or don’t even know that in this country, it’s one of the only six countries in the entire world and the only wealthy nation in the entire world that does not mandate and have a federal paid leave program.
‘Everybody knows, especially if you have had a child and even if you haven’t, you know how hard it is and how critical it is in those first few weeks if not months to be together as a family.
‘And the fact that we don’t offer that here is something that now as a mom of two, I will do everything that I can to make sure that we can implement that for people.’
Her statements came amid reports that Democratic Senator Kristen Gillibrand is facing ‘furious’ backlash from her colleagues for giving Meghan their private cell phone numbers so she could lobby them on paid family leave.
Gillibrand is trying to get a private deal on paid family leave after moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin spiked plans to include it in President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion budget package of social safety net programs.
But those talks hit a ‘speed bump,’ Axios reported on Thursday, after the Democratic senator form New York passed along her colleague’s private, unlisted mobile numbers to Meghan – as originally reported by Politico – in the hopes the Duchess could pressure them to support the plan.
While lobbying for unpaid leave, Meghan called Republican Senators Susan Collins and Shelley Moore Capito, both of whom expressed surprise to hear from the Duchess.
It’s unclear how many numbers Gillibrand passed along and if Meghan has reached out to any other lawmakers.
But some lawmakers told Axios that they considered Gillibrand’s move a breach of protocol, leaving them skeptical about future negotiations on paid family leave, two of the aides familiar with the matter told the news outlet.
It was first reported last week that Meghan had called the two Republican senators and used her royal title to urge them to vote in favor of paid parental leave – shocking the politicians with her latest foray into political activism.
The move was just the beginning for the Los Angeles-born mother of two, as she is now hoping to be part of ‘a working group to work on paid leave long term,’ according to Gillibrand.
Meghan, a former Suits actress who is living in a $14million mansion in California with husband Prince Harry and their children Archie and Lilibet, also promoted her children’s book The Bench, which she said she wrote as a poem for Harry on Father’s Day.
The duchess revealed how son Archie dressed as a dinosaur for Halloween, while her five-month daughter Lili was a ‘little skunk like Flower from Bambi’.
Meghan spoke of how she spent the celebration with chat show host DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi – her neighbors in the celebrity enclave of Montecito in California.
But Meghan said two year-old Archie and his baby sister were ‘not into’ Halloween at all, with Archie only staying in his costume for less than five minutes.
The former actress’ high profile appearance comes eight months after the Sussexes’ controversial sit-down with Oprah Winfrey which left the royal family in crisis.
Meghan and Harry have until now remained incredibly private about Lili, who was born in June and was named Lilibet after the royal family’s nickname for the Queen.
They are yet to share a photo publicly of their daughter.
During the interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Meghan also talked about how Lili was teething, saying ‘Anything to relieve that’, before DeGeneres jokingly suggested tequila.
Ellen eventually ended the pre-recorded prank by walking out onto the street to greet Meghan, before escorting her back into the studio where they continued their interview
Meghan replied: ‘That’s Auntie Ellen for you.’
Clips released ahead of the interview on Thursday showed the duchess in a lighthearted mood as she opened up about her children.
Meghan Markle reveals new photograph of two-year-old son Archie feeding their chickens at $14m California mansion in Ellen interview
Meghan Markle has revealed a new image of her and her husband Prince Harry ‘s two-year-old son Archie.
In the image, the little boy is seen feeding chickens in the garden of his parents’ $19million home in Montecito, California, whilst wearing jeans, a grey t-shirt and yellow wellies.
The photo was shown to viewers on the Ellen Show on Thursday.
Meghan told DeGeneres that Archie ‘loves being a big brother’ to her daughter Lili, who was born in June.
The duchess said: ‘Someone told H (Harry) and I that when you have one kid it’s a hobby, and two children is parenting.
‘Suddenly we realized, “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.
‘I think they have that moment of, ‘oh, this is fun, oh, this is how it is now’.’
Meghan said: ‘We were home and we saw you guys, which was great.
‘But no, we wanted to do something fun for the kids and then the kids were just not into it at all.
‘Archie was a dinosaur for maybe five minutes. Not even five minutes.’
DeGeneres told how Harry persuaded Archie to put his dinosaur costume on, saying: ‘Finally Harry talked him into putting the head on. But Lili was a skunk… it was so cute.’
Meghan replied: ‘She was a little skunk. Like Flower from Bambi.’
The duchess also revealed how she and Harry once went to a post-apocalypse themed Halloween party disguised in costumes when they were dating to have ‘one final night on the town’ before it was revealed they were a couple.
They were joined by 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,’ Meghan said.
She added: ‘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 news broke that they were a couple at the end of October in 2016.
The duchess also promoted her children’s book The Bench, which she said she wrote as a poem for Harry 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?’
Meghan replied: ‘He does. On that first page that you open and you see our dogs, he goes, ‘That’s Pula. That’s Guy’.’
The Sussexes have a black Labrador named Pula and a beagle called Guy.
Meghan is also said to have spoken of her and Harry’s happy new life in the US.
The pair quit as senior working royals in 2020 in a bid for personal and financial freedom, and have since signed multi-million pound deals with Netflix and Spotify.
When DeGeneres asked what Harry loves about California, the duchess replied: ‘We’re just happy.’
DeGeneres first met Meghan by chance at an animal shelter some years ago and encouraged her to adopt her first dog, Bogart.
She has previously described the Sussexes as ‘the cutest couple, so down to earth’ and defended them when they faced criticism after taking a run of flights on private jets.
Meghan Markle’s appearance on The Ellen Show: The highlights
PAID FAMILY LEAVE
I think that people truly forget, or don’t even know that in this country, it’s one of the only six countries in the entire world and the only wealthy nation in the entire world that does not mandate and have a federal paid leave program.
Everybody knows, especially if you have had a child and even if you haven’t, you know how hard it is and how critical it is in those first few weeks if not months to be together as a family.
And the fact that we don’t offer that here is something that now as a mom of two, I will do everything that I can to make sure that we can implement that for people.
We wanted to do something fun for the kids and then the kids were not into it at all. Archie was a dinosaur for maybe five minutes. Still not even five minutes, Harry talked him into putting the head on.
But Lilibet was a skunk and it was so cute. She was the flower from Bambi.
HARRY IN CALIFORNIA
He loves it (living in California).
We moved here during lockdown so everything was shut down, so we have been able to spend a lot of time at home and creating our home, but it’s a lifestyle and the weather is pretty great. We’re just happy.
ON LILIBET TEETHING
She is a good sleeper, but the teeth are coming in, so any mom will understand where you go they may be the best in the world, but the moment that is happening you have so much sympathy, so yes, I am up most of the night.
ON HER BOOK ‘THE BENCH’
It was about my observation of him (Harry) and him being a dad, which was the most beautiful thing to watch.
Once it was shared with a couple of friends and people that we were close with, they said, ‘No this resonates for me too because it feels really inclusive and there’s representation and it’s just like a sweet love story between a family’, and so I said, ‘OK let’s turn it into a children’s book’.
ON HER NIGHT OUT WITH PRINCESS EUGENIE
He (Harry) came to see me in Toronto and our friends and his cousin Eugenie and now her husband Jack, they came as well, and 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.
It was a post-apocalypse theme, so we had all this very bizarre costuming on, and we were able to just have one fun final night out.
ON AUDITIONING AT WARNER BROS LOT
So I had this very old Ford Explore 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 so after auditions I would park at the back of the parking lot and I would open the trunk and climb in, pull the door shut behind me and crawl all over my seats to get out. That’s how I would come to and fro.
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’. So driving today was very different.
ON SELLING SCRUNCHIES AT SCHOOL
My mom would take me down to downtown LA where all the fabrics are, you can buy them really affordably and I would get some of the remnants and I would buy the elastic and tied the knot and I had a sewing machine, and I made scrunchies and sold them at school, this is when I was at elementary school.
It was a thing at the time and I guess they are back now, people are wearing scrunchies again.