On Tuesday's episode of her podcast "Archetypes," which focused on the history and evolving meaning of the term "diva," host Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, was taken aback when Long Island-raised pop star legend Mariah Carey lightheartedly referred to Meghan with that term.
"I mean, it's not something that I connect to," Meghan, 41, told the music superstar of the word, now used to describe glamorous and successful women, particularly performers, but also vain or difficult women. "But for you," she continued, "it's been a huge part of your—."
"You give us diva moments sometimes, Meghan!" interrupted Carey, 53, in a mock-accusatory tone. "I do—?” Meghan stammered as crosstalk ensued. "What kind of diva moments do I give you?"
"Don't even act like—!" Carey interjected lightheartedly amid more crosstalk. "Don't act like you—!" Then through the jumble of conversation, Carey could be heard to say: "It's also the visual. It's the visual! A lot of it's the look." Following more crosstalk, Meghan said, "I associate it [the word] differently."
"I know," Carey replied. "But let's pretend that you weren't so beautiful and didn't have the whole thing," evidently referring to Meghan being a successful former actor turned British royalty, "and didn't often have gorgeous ensembles, you wouldn't, maybe, get as much diva" chatter. "I don't care," Carey assured, "I'm, like, 'When I can, I'm gonna give you "diva." ' "
The singer later reassured, "I was playing with you when I said that."
Following the roughly 40-minute interview with five-time Grammy Award winner and Long Island Music Hall of Famer Carey — who was born in Huntington and raised there and in Melville, Northport and Greenlawn — Meghan stayed on for the short remainder of the podcast, explaining how that moment had affected her.
"It stopped me in my tracks when she called me a diva," Meghan said, adding, "I started to sweat a little bit. I started squirming in my chair … like, 'Wait, what? … How could you? That's not true. … Why would you say that?' My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that. So she must have felt my nervous laughter and … jumped right in to make sure I was crystal clear [that] when she said diva, she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture, the clothing."
"She meant ‘diva' as a compliment," Meghan said moments later. "But I heard it as a dig" until "she explained to me she meant it as chic, as aspirational."
Meghan concluded, "One very charged word can mean something different for each of us. It's mind-blowing to me."