John Humphrys swiped Meghan and Harry for ‘contradiction’ in Oprah Interview

GMB: Meghan Markle and Harry slammed by Humphrys

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The TV star returns to BBC screens tonight for one of his final episodes of Mastermind, before stepping down next month after 18 years on the show. Humphrys savoured a lengthy career at the corporation, having formerly served on Radio 4’s Today programme. During that time, the 77-year-old grilled politicians and regularly made his views about the Royal Family known.

Humphrys, who is an “ardent republican”, has called for the monarchy to be reduced in size and at times abolished altogether. 

Last year, he argued it was “now the time” for the public to consider “what sort of Royal Family” they would like in the future.

He questioned their role in the wake of coronavirus, which he claimed saw them “truly furloughed”.

Humphrys questioned whether they were still in need now that “rushing around the country, shaking hands with everyone” was an “activity thoroughly kiboshed by the virus”. 

During the star’s outburst, in a YouGov article, he took a number of swipes at Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave the Firm. 

He believed the Sussexes left because they did not “want to be bothered” working within the Royal Family “any more”.

Humphrys felt moving to the US in a bid to become financially independent was “sloping off to a life easier on the hands”.

The Welsh journalist compared Harry to Prince Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne to marry US divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1936.

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He also remarked that the Queen’s grandson was leaving his duties to “spend more time lounging by the pool”. 

Humphrys claimed that Edward VIII, the Queen’s uncle, “enjoyed 30 years of a similar post-hand-shaking idyll”.

He also remarked that Meghan was “maybe… misinformed” before joining the Firm because “it was supposed in marrying him… [she] fancied a bit of hand-shaking too”.

Humphrys continued: “Why else would she join since that’s what they ‘do’?”

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In a barbed swipe, he claimed Meghan “thought she could become a Duchess and an HRH without having to put on the white gloves”.

Humphrys attacked the Sussexes again in his Daily Mail column following their interview with Oprah earlier this month.

He said they wanted to “free” themselves from “the Royal Family shackles” to allow their “privacy to be respected” but felt they had acted hypocritically.

Humphrys felt their decision to be interviewed by Oprah was an unusual choice considering their request to be out of the public eye. 

He wrote: “Isn’t there just the teeniest contradiction here?”

Humphrys described Oprah as “the most famous TV celebrity on the planet” and said their interview would be “broadcast to hundreds of millions of people around the world”.

In the US more than 49.1 million people watched the show’s first broadcast on CBS and 12.4 million when it aired a day later on ITV.

Humphrys felt Meghan and Harry had a “habit of popping up in the papers every other week”, which he thought was “rather orchestrated”.

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He claimed the photo of them laying wreaths for Remembrance Sunday was taken by a professional photographer at their request.

The journalist added: “You didn’t think that might have made it look more like a PR stunt than a sincere tribute to those who had made the ultimate sacrifice?”

He also noted the Sussexes’ black and white maternity shoot, where Meghan laid on Harry while clutching her baby bump.

Humphrys fumed that Oprah was invited to Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018.

He was annoyed that they “managed to squeeze” the talk show host onto the invitation list for their nuptials – which cost around £32million in total.

Humphrys continued: “Just as well the taxpayer was footing the bill, eh?”

He also questioned the closeness of Meghan and Oprah and mockingly described her as an “old friend”.

Humphrys said: “I say ‘old friend’ but I believe you had met her only once before the wedding. 

“How fortunate you are to make friends so easily!”

John Humphrys hosts Mastermind, which airs at 7.30pm tonight on BBC Two.

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