Meghan Markle Tells Andy Cohen She Stopped Watching 'Real Housewives': 'My Life Had Its Own Level of Drama'

The Duchess of Sussex joked that her podcast interview with Andy Cohen was her audition for the "Real Housewives of Montecito"

Meghan Markle and Andy Cohen
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty, Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Meghan Markle has watched The Real Housewives — but she's not looking to become a Bravolebrity.

For the latest episode of her Archetypes podcast, the Duchess of Sussex, 41, welcomed Andy Cohen, Trevor Noah and Judd Apatow — the first men to join the show this season. In a chat titled "Man-ifesting a Cultural Shift," Meghan and her guests spoke about the labels that hold women back, and how men in the media can impact the great cultural conversation.

During her chat with Cohen, 54, Meghan revealed that she had been a "huge fan" of his signature show, Watch What Happens Live, before she shot to stardom on Suits. Meghan joked that though they had casually crossed paths twice, years before recording the episode, she didn't have any luck getting on Bravo's hit late-night talk show.

"I was so eager to be on your show because I was such a Housewives fan at the time and I just couldn't get booked, Andy!" she laughed.

The Radio Andy host joked that not having her on was "the biggest blunder in the 13 years of the show" but made for a "great story," before they pivoted to one of Bravo's most popular franchises —The Real Housewives.

andy cohen
Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty

"I guess the million-dollar question is, do you still watch The Housewives? This is what we've been dying to know," Cohen, who is an executive producer for the global series, asked.

"Well, I will tell you the truth. I stopped watching The Housewives when my life had its own level of drama that I stopped craving..." Meghan replied as Cohen finished her sentence with "other people's."

"I get why it was such a huge, huge part of pop culture. And when it began, because you began with Orange County and I'm from California, at least it felt remotely like a world that I knew, but still felt so foreign," she said of the show's debut with The Real Housewives of Orange County, which premiered in 2006.

Andy Cohen
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"But I mean, I would say almost every one of my friends still watches it and I go, 'Why are you watching that? There's so much drama!' And it's because it's entertainment. It's entertaining to them," she added. "And it's also I think it's so familiar because it's been on for so long. You've created an empire."

Commenting on the Housewives' reach and resonance, Cohen argued that viewers "love judging human behavior" and that the amusing series creates a guilt-free way to "gossip about friends, who aren't really our friends."

In a voiceover, Meghan said that she was "conflicted" about the success of the franchise given the trope it promotes.

"Because as we grapple this season with what archetypes are and how limiting they are, on the flip side of that, is are we exploring giving women the space and allowance to be exactly who they are? As complicated, layered, challenging, funny, silly, etc. Or, in a franchise like Housewives, are we fueling the fire of archetypes by creating caricatures of women?" she wondered.

Though the question went unanswered, Meghan pointed to the success of the long-running series, which spans 11 franchises and has cast hundreds of women. "And apparently, at some point, people thought Andy should maybe add one more to the mix," she laughed.

"And then what did you think? Because it had to have bubbled up to you somewhere that you moved to the States and everyone is like, oh, she should join the Beverly Hills Housewives. I'm like, she ain't joining the Beverly Hills Housewives, everybody."

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS -- Season:12 -- Pictured: (l-r) Diana Jenkins, Crystal Minkoff, Erika Girardi, Kyle Richards, Garcelle Beauvais, Dorit Kemsley, Lisa Rinna, Sutton Stracke
The cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 12. Tommy Garcia/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

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"I never heard that!" Meghan giggled.

"She has a full plate! She's Meghan Markle! You never heard that? Good. Well, I never even tried to stoke the fire because I was like, 'Folks, that's not happening,' " Cohen countered.

Joking again, Meghan interjected, "You mean really that this is my audition for Real Housewives of Montecito? Is this the moment?"

Cohen insisted that no audition was necessary, adding that "We'll build the show around you. How about that?"

"There will be no reality show," Meghan interjected. "But I think it's so funny. No, I never heard that. I never heard about the Beverly Hills of it all."

Though Bravo cameras won't soon be following the Duchess of Sussex, PEOPLE has learned that Netflix's docuseries on her and Prince Harry will debut in December.

Harry and Meghan Invictus Games
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Invictus Games in 2018. Mark Metcalfe/Getty

Meghan and Harry, 38, first signed a multi-year deal with Netflix in September 2020. At the time, The New York Times reported that the California-based couple's production hub, later named Archewell Productions, would exclusively create documentaries, docuseries, feature films, scripted shows and children's programming for the popular platform.

Meghan briefly spoke about what audiences can expect to see in the docuseries in an October interview with Variety.

"It's nice to be able to trust someone with our story — a seasoned director whose work I've long admired — even if it means it may not be the way we would have told it," Meghan said of working with Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus, who is helming the Netflix special. "But that's not why we're telling it. We're trusting our story to someone else, and that means it will go through their lens."

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