Meghan drops Duchess title in Archetypes ‘to rebrand herself and alter public perception

Archetypes: Meghan Markle teases brand new podcast

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Meghan Markle’s first Spotify podcast series is set to launch this summer. Archetypes is going to “investigate the labels that try to hold women back”. A teaser for the podcast was released a few weeks ago in which Meghan introduces the podcast’s scope and herself. On the latter, and perhaps a little surprising, Meghan doesn’t use her title – the Duchess of Sussex – or her full name for that matter. Express.co.uk spoke to Tina Wilson, relationship expert and Wingman founder about whether there was a reason behind this. 

Since stepping back as a senior royal from the British Royal Family in 2020, Meghan has used her title, the Duchess of Sussex for several new ventures. 

Even the official description of Archetypes states “Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex”, so why did she introduce herself as just “Meghan”? 

Several clips from iconic moments and interviews with women begin the teaser. 

The first time Meghan speaks, she says: “This is how we talk about women, the words that raise our girls and how the media reflect women back to us. 

“But where do these stereotypes come from? And how do they keep showing up and defining our lives?” 

She then introduces herself: “I’m Meghan and this is Archetypes – the podcast where we dissect, explore and subvert the labels that try to hold women back. 

“I’ll have conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape our narratives and I’ll talk to historians to understand how we even got here in the first place. 

“Archetypes, coming soon. Listen only on Spotify.” 

Tina listened to the teaser and commented: “Using her first name only is strategic in two clever ways. 

“Firstly, Meghan does not feel she needs an introduction and wants to be known on a first name basis like the greats such as Madonna. Secondly, she needs to sound relatable and using her official title does not achieve this goal. 

“The wording used is ‘you’, ‘our’ and ‘we’, and Meghan wants listeners to feel they are on the same path and have shared experiences and common ground.  

“She needs the audience to understand her for the podcast to be relevant. 

“Using her first name only is very personable and it is her way of trying to connect with her audience to build a relationship with them.” 

The expert added: “Formal names and titles would only highlight the differences and make her sound unrelatable. 

“She is essentially putting on her ‘podcast voice’ or as other people know it ‘telephone voice’. It is not her real voice but an enhanced version of how Meghan sees herself and how she wants others to see her. 

“Meghan’s tone is soft and conversational, yet she pronounces certain words clearly and highlights keywords using a faster and then slower pace. 

“This is deliberate as it hooks the listener in and gets them to subconsciously focus on certain aspects of the podcast teaser.  

“I think she is also trying to appeal to a US audience with how she is presenting herself,” Tina commented. 

“After a teaser of some of the notable guests, Meghan begins her part by asking questions and to the untrained ear you wouldn’t know it was her and it takes a couple of sentences to even establish who it is before she then introduces herself informally as ‘I’m Meghan’. 

“Fascinatingly, the use of the word Archetypes appears to be her focus as it is more front and centre. Perhaps Meghan is trying to rebrand herself and alter the public’s perception of her.”

There were suggestions the podcast was going to be a joint project between Meghan and Prince Harry, but the Duke of Sussex doesn’t make an appearance on the teaser, which Tina picked up on this. 

“The topic is about women and how we talk about women which might be the reason Meghan leads the episode teaser, but interestingly Prince Harry does not feature at all in this teaser,” she said. 

“In terms of her relationship with Prince Harry, this could signal Meghan calls the shots, both with what content is being put out first but also Meghan as the leader and prominent force/voice in their marriage.” 

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