Serena Williams Stands Up for Meghan Markle, Spills on Baby Archie's Secret U.S. Trip and Wants Us to 'Gift Ourselves'

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, sits alongside Oracene Price, mother of Serena Williams, at the Women’s Singles final match on day thirteen of the 2019 US Open on Sept. 7, 2019, in Queens, N.Y.
Photo: Elsa (Getty Images)

When one of the most famous and scrutinized women in sports says even she can’t fully relate to the criticism and unceasing attention heaped upon you, your struggle is likely next level. In fact, as Serena Williams told Access Hollywood when speaking of close friend Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, “I’m not sure many people can relate on that level—I don’t think I can.”

Serena, ostensibly appearing on the broadcast to promote her new line of fine jewelry, extolled the virtues of being surrounded by an inspiring clique (hers, of course, is filled with fellow icons). And she continued to elaborate on the qualities that make her longtime friend so special—in spite of many assuming Meghan’s marriage into the British monarchy has rendered her out of touch.

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“I just really think she’s literally the strongest person I know and the nicest, sweetest,” she said. “She flew all the way with a newborn to see me play in New York and flew all the way back that night, and I probably couldn’t have done that. That kind of goes to show you what an amazing person that she is. And that’s just one of the many things that she does for me. I call her, text her anytime crying, upset, she’s always there and doesn’t matter what she’s going through, she just sets time away, and she’s just so amazing.”

As reported by Elle, of note to many amidst this public display of friendship was a heretofore unknown tidbit: Despite reports that Baby Archie would be making his first trip to the United States to accompany his royal parents on a much-needed six-week break this holiday season, the infant apparently made his first stop stateside for the U.S. Open (which he did not attend). To us, it’s hardly a surprise, since he was only 4 months old at the time—and royal or not, his mother has been said to be hands-on as a new parent. While the stop was apparently only 24 hours, we agree that the effort to support a friend was pretty commendable.

But of note to us? The adorable way Serena evoked one of our favorite films when talking about the way her friendship with Meghan continues to evolve as both have become wives and mothers, quipping in Color Purple-esque cadence, “We married now!”

Royal friendships aside, as the holiday season approaches, Serena encourages us to be our own best friends, taking the time and effort to be kind to ourselves and to gift ourselves, as well as everyone else—perhaps with a piece from her new line?

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“I’m always so focused [on] my career, I never take out that time,” she says. “And if I do, I’m sure that other women who are doing far more than I’m doing tend to forget about themselves. And so, we’ve got to remember ourselves...It’s like, love yourself—but it’s easier said than done.”

(But seriously, who’s doing more than Serena?)

As for the tennis legend’s numerous off-court ventures, she wants us to know her burgeoning fashion empire ain’t no vanity project, saying, “I’m building a brand.”

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“I never thought ‘maybe,’ I always knew I would end up in fashion,” she says, perhaps giving us a glimpse of what we should expect from her post-competitive career. And with not only a new jewelry line but a rumored trademark on skincare, it’s clear Serena’s bringing her same winner’s mentality to whatever her heart desires to do next.

“Stay tuned,” she says.

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.