Meghan Markle shuts it down: There will be no ‘Real Housewives of Montecito’ for her

A man and woman look off in different directions
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, attend the Invictus Games in the Netherlands in April.
(Peter Dejong / Associated Press)

Waiting to watch Meghan Markle flip a table? Well, keep waiting, because the Duchess of Sussex says there’s no way she will be part of the “Real Housewives” franchise. Not even if it comes to her star-studded California hometown of Montecito.

Not that any such reality show is genuinely up for consideration these days — though according to “Real Housewives” creator Andy Cohen, getting the duchess on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” was discussed, briefly, around the time Markle and husband Prince Harry were leaving the U.K. for the U.S.

“What did you think?” Cohen asked Markle during the finale of her “Archetypes” podcast. “Bcause it had to have bubbled up to you that you moved to the States and everyone is like, ‘She should join the Beverly Hills “Housewives.”’


“I’m like, she ain’t joining the Beverly Hills Housewives, everybody! She has a full plate! She’s Meghan Markle!,” Cohen continued. “You never heard that?” — she hadn’t — “Good! Well, I never even tried to stoke the fire, because I was like, folks, that’s not happening.”

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Markle, who apparently was a huge “Housewives” fan for years, poked back at her guest.

“You mean, really, that this is my audition for ‘Real Housewives of Montecito’? Is this the moment?,” she asked.

“You don’t have to audition,” Cohen replied. “We’ll build the show around you. How about that?”

Then Markle cut it off: “There will be no reality show!,” she proclaimed firmly. “I never heard that. I never heard about the ‘Beverly Hills’ of it all.”

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It turns out that Cohen had met Markle twice before taping “Archetypes,” but didn’t remember either meeting, much to his chagrin. She was on USA Network’s “Suits”; the “Housewives” franchise, which runs on Bravo, was and is also under the NBCUniversal umbrella. She said she tried to get booked on Cohen’s late-night show “Watch What Happens Live,” but couldn’t.

“It is now the biggest blunder in the 13 years of the show. ...,” he said. “Now I can’t even do my pitch to get you on ‘Watch What Happens Live.’”


“Real Housewives” shows are, of course, all about the drama. Heightened drama. So heightened that at a certain point, longtime fan that she was, the duchess realized she was over it.

“I will tell you the truth,” she said. “I stopped watching the ‘Housewives’ when my life had its own level of drama, that I stopped craving ...

”... other people’s,” Cohen finished for her.

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That said, she still considers the franchise familiar territory, as it’s been so ubiquitous for so long, and says all her friends still watch one “Housewives” show or another.

Cohen had a theory about that.

“We love judging human behavior. And so it’s a way to kind of judge other people’s behaviors in kind of a guilt-free way without feeling bad about it,” he said. “It’s like an excuse to gossip about friends who aren’t really our friends.”