A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has responded to Jeremy Clarkson’s apology over his column in The Sun.
The former Top Gear presenter faced widespread backlash from politicians, celebrities, members of the public and even his own daughter after writing that he hated the Duchess of Sussex “on a cellular level”.
Clarkson issued an apology on Monday (16 January), sharing that he had emailed Prince Harry and Markle ”to apologise to them”, however, a spokesperson for the couple has revealed that the email was written “solely to Prince Harry” and it was “never addressed to Meghan”.
Prince Harry previously commented on the article which he described as “horrific”, “hurtful” and “cruel”, during an interview with Tom Bradby for ITV to discuss the release of his memoir, Spare.
The Sun newspaper has issued an apology for the piece, with it making history as the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s most complained about story ever.
So, what did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say about Jeremy Clarkson’s apology? Here’s everything you need to know.
What have Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said?
Following Clarkson’s apology on Instagram, a spokesperson for Prince Harry and the Duchess addressed the claim that the TV presenter had emailed the couple to apologise.
Shared on Twitter, the spokesperson’s statement claims that Clarkson wrote the email “solely to Prince Harry” and it was “never addressed to Meghan”.
The statement reads: “On December 25, 2022, Mr Clarkson wrote solely to Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex. The contents of his correspondence were marked private and confidential.”
It continues: “While a new public apology has been issued today by Mr Clarkson, what remains to be addressed is his long-standing pattern of writing articles that spread hate rhetoric, dangerous conspiracy theories and misogyny,” the statement continued. “Unless each of his other pieces were also written ‘in a hurry,’ as he states, it is clear that this is not an isolated incident shared in haste, but rather a series of articles shared in hate.”
Prince Harry has previously addressed Clarkson’s comments, describing them as “horrific”, “hurtful” and “cruel” during an interview with Tom Bradby for ITV to discuss the release of his memoir, Spare.
The Duke said: “When we’re talking about accountability, you know, just recently, which I know you know about, the Jeremy Clarkson article, so not only did, what he said was horrific and is hurtful and cruel towards my wife, but it also encourages other people around the UK and around the world, men particularly, to go and think that it’s acceptable to treat women that way.”
What did Jeremy Clarkson say about Meghan Markle?
In an op-ed for The Sun which was published on Friday 16 December, Clarkson wrote that he hated Markle “on a cellular level” and wanted people to “throw lumps of excrement” at her.
In the column he said: “I hate her. Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.” Adding: “At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and thrown lumps of excrement at her.” He then tried to justify his comments claiming that “everyone” his age “thinks the same way.”
Has Jeremy Clarkson apologised?
Clarkson issued an apology for his column on Monday 16 January, a month after the original article was released. Sharing the statement on his Instagram account the TV presenter said he was “really sorry” for the comments he had made.
His statement said: “One of the strange things I’ve noticed in recent times is that whenever an MP or a well-known person is asked to apologise for something, no matter how heartfelt or profound that apology may be, it’s never enough for the people who called for it in the first place.
“So I’m going to try and buck the trend this morning with an apology for the things I said in a Sun column recently about Meghan Markle. I really am sorry. All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles on my head. This is me putting my hands up. Its a mea culpa with bells on.”
Clarkson stated that he had not read the column to another person before filing it with The Sun, which is a step he would normally take. He described the reaction on the day of publication as a “land mine” exploding.
He continued: “It was a slow rumble to start with and I ignored it. But then the rumble got louder. So I picked up a copy of The Sun to see what all the fuss was about. We’ve all been there, I guess. In that precise moment when we suddenly realise we’ve completely messed up. You are sweaty and cold at the same time. And your head pounds. And you feel sick. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Had I really said that? It was horrible.”
He went on to explain his description of “dreaming” of Markle being paraded naked through the streets and having excrement thrown at her was in reference to a Game Of Thrones scene adding that he had “forgotten to mention” the link, and that without this context “it looked like I was actually calling for revolting violence to rain down on Meghan’s head.”
Clarkson also revealed that he had emailed Prince Harry and Markle ”to apologise to them too”, he said: “The Sun quickly apologised and I tried to explain myself. But still, there were calls for me to be sacked and charged with a hate crime. More than 60 MPs demanded action to be taken. ITV, who make Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Amazon, who make the Farm Show and the Grand Tour, were incandescent. I therefore wrote to everyone who works with me saying how sorry I was and then on Christmas morning, I e-mailed Harry and Meghan in California to apologise to them too. I said I was baffled by what they had been saying on TV but that the language I’d used in my column was disgraceful and that I was profoundly sorry.”
He then referenced doing a “Harry Kane”, saying: “Over the last thirty years, I have written very nearly five thousand newspaper and magazine columns, so it was inevitable that one day, I’d do a Harry Kane and sky one of the damn things. Which is what happened with the piece about Meghan.
Clarkson finished his statement by saying: “So can I move on now? Not sure. It’s hard to be interesting and vigilant at the same time. You never hear peals of laughter coming from a health and safety seminar. But I promise you this, I will try. Who knows? Very soon now I shall be a grandfather, so in future, maybe I’ll just write about that.”