Meghan Markle: Commonwealth reaction assessed by expert
The BBC veteran returns to screens tonight in Celebrity Mastermind, which is one of the last times the presenter will host the show. After 18 years he will be replaced by Clive Myrie when the hit TV quiz airs again later this year. Humphrys, who describes himself as anti-monarchy on a regular basis, took aim at Meghan in a brutal rant.
The 77-year-old, who hosted BBC Radio 4’s Today programme until two years ago, was furious over the Sussexes’ departure from The Firm.
His anger was furthered when it was announced that Meghan and Prince Harry would spill the beans to Oprah Winfrey.
Humphrys argued that their decision to have a tell-all interview while demanding “privacy” was a “contradiction”.
He claimed Oprah was “the most famous TV celebrity on the planet” and that their sit-down was likely to be watched by “hundreds of millions”.
John Humphrys slammed Meghan Markle for ‘exposing’ herself to the Royal Family
John Humphrys called Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah Winfrey interview a ‘contradiction’
Humphrys could be right – in the UK alone 12.4 million people tuned into ITV’s first broadcast of Oprah With Meghan and Harry.
In the US, when the show debuted on CBS, around 49 million watched the interview on TV screens – it is not known how many streamed it online.
Humphrys described ‘Megxit’ as the couple “freeing yourselves of the Royal Family shackles”.
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John Humphrys branded Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s photograph on Remembrance Sunday a ‘PR stunt’
He argued their actions were not in-line complaints against the British press last year and the demand for their “privacy to be respected”.
In the note, which was circulated to the world’s media, they put “a ban” on several major UK newspapers from covering stories about their lives.
Despite their pleas for privacy, Humphrys noted they had “a habit of popping up in the papers every other week”.
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John Humphrys branded Meghan Markle ‘self-centred’ for complaining during the 2019 tour in Africa
In his Daily Mail column earlier this month, he questioned: “Isn’t it all rather orchestrated?”
Humphrys noted they had hired a “professional photographer” to take “snaps at your request” while they laid a wreath on Remembrance Sunday.
He said: “[It] might have been rather moving except that you weren’t exactly by yourselves, were you?”
The TV star felt hiring a photographer made the act “look more like a PR stunt than a sincere tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice”.
John Humphrys thought Meghan Markle and Prince Harry enjoyed publicity despite demanding ‘privacy’
Humphrys also pointed out Meghan and Harry’s recent baby bump photograph as another example of them disregarding their demands for privacy.
In a dig at the Sussexes’ decision to leave their roles as senior working royals, he asked: “What part of ‘duties’ did you not understand, Meghan?”
In a Daily Mail column last year, Humphrys argued that the Duchess wanted an “HRH without having to put on the white gloves”.
He argued that Meghan could have been “misinformed” about the full-extent of being part of the Royal Family.
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But in Humphrys’ recent rant, he seemed far-less forgiving.
He asked whether she “ever thought” that it was “possibly a mistake for someone as sensitive as you are to expose yourself” to royal life.
Humphrys compared the monarchy’s existence to “what Hamlet called, ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.’”
He highlighted Meghan’s struggles on their tour of Africa in 2019, when Tom Bradby from ITN asked how she was coping.
John Humphrys argued the Sussexes couldn’t ‘demand privacy’ and then go on Oprah Winfrey’s show
In what Humphrys described as a “complaint”, the Duchess said: “Not many people have asked if I’m ok.”
The star branded it “a tad insensitive” considering they were “literally surrounded by vast numbers of people” living in “utterly abject poverty”.
He argued that Meghan’s baby shower in New York, which she travelled to on a private jet, “cost more than those people can even begin to imagine”.
John Humphrys will step down from Mastermind and Celebrity Mastermind this month after 18 years
Humphrys asked whether she had ever considered his points and suggested she might have “come across as a little self-centred” to the public.
He signed off with a swipe at Harry by asking what he considered to be “the most important question”.
Humphrys wrote: “My question is this, ‘Do you have any regrets and is there anything that might persuade you to come home?”
John Humphrys hosts Celebrity Mastermind, which airs at 5.45pm on Saturday on BBC One, and Mastermind, which starts at 7.30pm Monday on BBC Two.