Piers Morgan and Meghan Markle: what was former GMB presenter’s relationship with duchess - and were they friends?

The ex-Good Morning Britain host made scathing comments about Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview

Piers Morgan has been scathing about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview, which aired on ITV on 8 March.

The former Good Morning Britain host shocked viewers when he said he didn’t believe Meghan when she said she had suicidal thoughts due to struggling with life in the royal family.

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And on Tuesday (9 March), the controversial presenter was engaged in another heated debate about the Duchess of Sussex with GMB colleague Alex Beresford, which led to him dramatically storming off set.

Piers Morgan’s relationship with Meghan Markle stems back a few years (Getty Images)

Morgan left the show the same day amid an Ofcom investigation looking into 41,000 complaints about his comments.

His relationship with Meghan actually stems back a few years, before it seemingly took a turn.

So, what is the host’s history with Meghan, were they friends - and what did he say about the Oprah interview?

Here is everything you need to know.

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What was Piers Morgan’s relationship with Meghan Markle?

The former GMB host’s friendship with the Duchess of Sussex began in 2015, while she was acting on the show Suits.

Morgan claimed that Meghan “slid” into his direct messages after he followed her on social media, along with other cast members of the hit TV series.

Speaking to Access Hollywood, Morgan said: “She immediately direct messaged me, she slid into my DMs faster than a greyhound.”

Morgan has previously shared a message he received from the duchess, in which she told him she was a “big fan” of his.

Posting a screenshot of their conversation to Twitter, Morgan wrote: “In happier times... when Meghan first slid into my DMs... think it’s fair to say she’s probably not such a ‘big fan’ of mine now.”

Apparently, the pair began regularly messaging each other and emailing after that.

Morgan said Meghan “even started sending me early preview episodes of her show so we could debate juicy storylines yet to air – which we did, at length”.

Why did they stop speaking?

Then, a year later, Meghan flew over to the UK to watch close friend Serena Williams play at Wimbledon.

Morgan revealed that she met him at The Scarsdale Tavern pub, where the two “talked about life and the universe and Donald Trump and everything, her days as a Deal or No Deal suitcase girl”.

Writing in the Daily Mail about their interaction, Morgan described Meghan as “real” and “not one of those phony actress types so prevalent in California”.

He disclosed: “We discussed her biracial upbringing, highly significant now she will become the first non-white royal bride.”

The journalist said the drinks date led him to think of Meghan as a “delightful person”.

Later that same evening, Meghan left to go to a private member’s club where it is thought she met Prince Harry for the first time.

According to Morgan, that was the last time he ever heard from her.

“We’ve now seen dozens of other people say they too got ghosted, we all got frozen out,” he said of the end of their friendship.

“She had reached a loftier place and there was no room for people like us.

“It raises a few alarm bells that she was prepared to just cut people.

“She did it to her ex-husband, she’s done it to almost all of her family.”

Yet while Morgan seemed to be annoyed about the demise of his relationship with the duchess, he nevertheless congratulated Harry and Meghan where they were engaged in 2017.

A column he wrote about the couple in the Daily Mail had the headline: “Hearty congratulations, Harry, you picked a real keeper (even if your romance did destroy my beautiful friendship with the amazing Meghan Markle).”

And in May 2018, as Meghan prepared to marry her prince, Morgan stuck up for her during the feud with her “foolish father” Thomas Markle.

He said Meghan’s dad “only had himself to blame” for missing his daughter’s nuptials.

When did the relationship change?

Yet, only two months later, Morgan and Meghan’s amicable relationship appeared to take a turn.

The former GMB presenter wrote in another column: “If you’re truly a humanitarian, Meghan, then show some damn heart to your loving father before he succumbs to a broken one.”

Morgan’s criticism of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continued to escalate, culminating in him calling for the couple to be stripped of their royal titles in 2020.

A column he wrote following their decision to step down as senior royals called them “grasping, selfish, scheming Kardashian-wannabes”, and another said they were “the world’s most tone-deaf, hypocritical, narcissistic, deluded, whiny brats”.

The controversial host went on to brand the couple as “appallingly bitter, staggeringly self-obsessed, utterly deluded, and woefully tone-deaf laughing stocks”.

He has repeatedly claimed that the royal pair don’t wish for privacy and instead are using the media for self-promotion.

Has Meghan said anything about Morgan?

However, the feud seems to be one-sided.

Meghan has never publicly said anything about Morgan, despite his personal comments towards her and her family.

What did Morgan say about the Oprah interview?

Before he stormed off the GMB set on Tuesday (9 March) morning, Morgan had been disparaging about the couple’s famous Oprah chat.

Talking on his show the day after it aired, the presenter said: “I’m angry to the point of bawling over today. I’m sickened by what I just had to watch.

“This is a two-hour trashathon of our royal family, of the monarchy and everything our queen has worked so hard for and it’s all been done while Prince Philip lies in hospital.

“They trash everybody. They basically make out our Royal family are a bunch of white supremacists by this race bombshell.

“They didn’t name any which one it was, they just throw it out there so it could be anybody.”

Yet viewers were deeply shocked when Morgan went on to say he didn’t believe Meghan when she told Oprah she “didn’t want to live anymore”.

Morgan continued: “Who did you go to? What did they say to you?

“I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle.

“I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.

“The fact that she’s fired up this onslaught against our Royal family I think is contemptible.”

Social media users were quick to criticise the host’s comments.