A brief history of Piers Morgan’s ‘obsession’ with Meghan Markle

On the left, Meghan Markle sits in a garden. The arm of Harry is seen on a chair to the left of her, and the back of Oprah Winfrey is visible in the foreground. On the right is Piers Morgan, at a press event in a black suit.
Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese and Frazer Harrison - Getty Images

As the UK continues to digest an explosive interview with Harry and Meghan, former Good Morning Britain presenter and Daily Mail columnist Piers Morganstormed off set after he was criticised by co-host Alex Beresford.

People have since filed complaints with the broadcast regulator Ofcom, and the mental health charity Mind said it was “disappointed and concerned” after Morgan said he “[doesn’t] believe a word she says”.

Ofcom reported on Tuesday evening that they had received more than 40,000 complaints as a result of what Morgan said.

Commenting after GMB aired a clip in which Markle said she had experienced suicidal thoughts, Morgan added: “I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report.”

These comments are just the latest in a long string of remarks made by Morgan against Meghan, spanning several years, which many people have since described as an ‘obsession’.

If one was to go back five years, then newspaper columns and posts on social media would suggest a different story. In tweets shared towards the end of the year, Morgan writes that “Meghan’s delightful” and that “Meghan’s perfect for [Harry]”.

A year later, Morgan was describing Markle as a “pub drinking pal” and a “friend”.

Describing the time they went for a drink in Kensington in 2016, Morgan toldThe Late Late Show’s Ryan Tubridy in 2018: “We had two hours in a pub, she had a couple of dirty martinis, had a couple of pints, we got on brilliantly.

“Then I put her in a cab, and it turned out to be a cab which took her to a party, where she met Prince Harry.

“Then the next night, they had a solo dinner together, and that was the last I ever heard from Meghan Markle – and I have never heard from her again,” he said.

In the same interview, Morgan said he had been “ghosted” by Markle, describing her as a “slight social climber”.

The frustration was clear in an article from November 2017, titled ‘Hearty congratulations, Harry, you picked a real keeper (even if your romance did destroy my beautiful friendship with the amazing Meghan Markle)’.

He wrote: “I didn’t hear from Meghan again after her royal romance erupted into the public gaze, which is perfectly understandable under the circumstances … All will be forgiven though if I get an invite to the wedding of the year.”

He didn’t, and two days before the day Meghan and Harry married (on 19 May 2018) there was an apparent change in tone from Morgan.

A day earlier, he had turned on the “clueless Palace” and “ghastly backstabbing Markles” for “[conspiring] to wreck Meghan’s big week”.

Yet, on 17 May that year, he wrote on Twitter: “Pretty ironic that after repeatedly urging us all to take care of people with mental health issues, Harry and Meghan have left Thomas Markle on his own to undergo heart surgery brought on by anxiety/stress over their wedding.”

After wishing the pair “a very happy day” on 18 May, on the day itself, Morgan tweeted: “An empty doormat. No last-minute invite. 

“That’s the last time I’m buying Meghan Markle a bloody dirty martini.”

It was only a couple of days later in the Mail that Morgan was bringing up the pub anecdote once more, this time criticising Meghan over a report from The Daily Telegraph that the then royal was going to “fight for feminism”.

“I remember discussing that very subject with you when we met for a drink in my local Kensington pub during the week you first met Harry.

“Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst didn’t fight for your right to wear a tiara to state dinners or have your liveried servants heat your cashmere water bottle at night.

So tread carefully, Meghan,” he said.

Morgan clearly wasn’t a fan of Markle’s new lifestyle as a member of the royal family. As Meghan’s difficult relationship with her father developed following her 2018 wedding, the broadcaster soon offered his two cents.

“Dear Meghan Markle, all your fancy new palaces, servants and tiaras won’t make up for losing your father. Get on a plane and go see the poor man before it’s too late. You can’t just freeze him out of your life like you’ve done the rest of your family and most of your old friends,” read the tweet.

“Ex-friend” was the words he used in December 2018, in a new Daily Mail column released the same day he said that the friendship started with a private Twitter message from Markle, and “ended in a ruthless double ghosting”.

The article’s headline read: “My EX-friend Meghan Markle is a ruthless social climbing actress who has landed the role of her life and is determined to milk it for all she can – and that’s why the Palace is beginning to turn on her.”

Morgan wrote: “She’s spent most of the past 20 years cosying up to people until they serve no more use to her, then airbrushing them out of her life without so much as ‘goodbye, Loser!’

“I know because I was one of them.”

Several years after that fateful pub trip, Morgan has shown no signs of giving up when it comes to calling out Meghan.

After one Twitter user tweeted Morgan last week calling on him to “leave them alone”, the TV presenter replied: “What part of Meghan/Harry’s global media blitz at the moment makes you think they want to be left alone? Genuinely curious.”

Morgan’s behaviour and comments since the interview was aired in the United States on Sunday evening has prompted a strong backlash from not only his colleagues but other professionals in the industry.

Morgan has since quit Good Morning Britain following the criticism he received for his comments. Reports suggest that ITV had asked him to make an on-air apology which he refused to di with led to a stand-off between the two parties.

It remains to be seen how long Morgan will maintain his outrage over Meghan and Harry’s status in the royal family and when he will reemerge on our TV screens but it is unlikely that we’ve heard the last of it or him.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

More: Meghan saying she had suicidal thoughts during Oprah interview was more than revealing. It was heartbreaking.

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