Piers Morgan accuses Harry and Meghan of telling '17 whoppers': what could they be?

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·15-min read

Watch: Piers Morgan continues to rip Meghan Markle: 'I was under attack from Miss Markle'

Piers Morgan has accused Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of telling "ridiculous whoppers" during their Oprah Winfrey interview, saying claims were "completely untrue, or massively exaggerated, or unprovable". 

Morgan, who left his presenter job at over comments he made about the interview after it aired, has a long-running feud with Meghan, though she has never responded to any of his remarks about her.

During an interview with US conservative news personality Tucker Carlson, he said: "Seventeen different claims by the pair of them have now been proven to be either completely untrue, or massively exaggerated, or unprovable.

"I don't understand why I should have to believe people who are not telling the truth.

"There are so many ridiculous whoppers in this interview that frankly, in the end, saying I believe her would be like saying I believe Pinocchio. Why would I?"

Morgan did not specify the claims he meant, but Yahoo UK has looked over some of the statements made by the couple and what has emerged since.

1. The date of their wedding

Meghan said during the interview: "Three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that."

The comment sparked confusion because there are certain legal obligations in the UK, including the reading of the marriage bands, and a minimum number of witnesses that need to be present for a marriage to be formal.

However it has since been clarified by the Archbishop of Canterbury and by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's spokesman that the official wedding was on 19 May, in St George's Chapel.

The ceremony days before was an informal exchange of vows.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19:  Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Sussex depart after their wedding ceremonyat St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan were officially married at their 19 May, 2018, ceremony. (Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

2. Archie would not get police protection if he wasn't a prince

Meghan suggested that conversations they were having with the palace meant that Archie, their son, would not get police protection because he wasn't going to be a prince.

But security for the royals isn't decided based on the titles they have.

Security is decided in consultation with the government, and is usually based on those working as senior royals.

A number of Royal Family members, like Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, don't have taxpayer-funded security any more.

3. Archie was not going to be a prince

When Archie was born in May 2019, it was reported that Harry and Meghan had declined the offer of a title for their son, wanting him to be 'Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor'.

But in the interview, Meghan said it was not her decision and suggested there was an attempt to change the precedent which would make Archie a prince when Charles accedes to the throne.

In 2013, before any of Prince William's children were born, the Queen issued a letters patent that removed an anomaly in an earlier royal decree by George V that stipulated that a son would become a prince but a daughter would not become a princess.

Prior to the Queen's intervention, only William's eldest George would have been entitled to the title of prince as the 1917 letters patent said the titles Royal Highness (HRH) and prince and princess should be restricted to the children of the sovereign, the children of the sovereign's sons, and the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 25: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Harry and Meghan with Archie in September 2019 in South Africa. There's been confusion over his title. (Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

However the same was not done for Archie, who under the previous precedent would only inherit the title of prince when Charles becomes king.

Meghan also suggested there was an attempt to change that precedent and said she was upset at the "idea of the first member of colour in this family, not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be".

She said: "It’s not their right to take it away."

While it's not the case that Archie was entitled to be a prince at his birth, because he was the great-grandchild and not the grandchild of a monarch, it's harder to ascertain what might have been happening about his future title.

No laws have been changed, so if the matters stay the same, Archie can be Prince Archie when Charles becomes King, if he wishes.

4. Mail On Sunday held a story about Thomas Markle for 'drama'

Meghan claimed the Mail On Sunday held on to a story for a month to "create drama" before her wedding to Prince Harry.

Thomas Markle Snr was photographed in an internet cafe near his home appearing to research the UK, as his daughter prepared to make it her home.

But before the wedding, it emerged that the photos were staged with a paparazzo. 

Meghan said: "If we were going to use the word betrayal, it's because when I asked him, when we were told by the comms team, this is a story that was going to be coming out, which, by the way, the tabloids had apparently known for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama, which is also a really key point in all this."

But the Mail On Sunday has said it published evidence of the photos being staged within 24 hours of finding out. 

5. Meghan hasn't seen her half-sister in 18 years

Meghan said in the interview that she had not seen her half-sister Samantha Markle in "at least 18, 19 years".

Markle has given several interviews since Meghan and Harry's relationship went public, and has been vocal in her frustrations with Meghan, accusing her of cutting off her family.

But Meghan said she hardly knows her.

There are photographs which show Markle and Meghan together in 2008, at the older sibling's graduation, about 13 years ago. 

Markle told Inside Edition that she disputes Meghan's claim she only reverted to using the surname Markle after Harry and Meghan's relationship came out.

Watch: Samantha Markle hits back at half-sister Duchess Meghan

6. Harry was cut off from his family financially

Prince Harry said he was "literally cut off" from his family financially and had to "afford security for us" after they left their senior royal roles.

But this has been somewhat disputed – though not formally by the palace.

Royal financial expert David McClure previously told Yahoo UK: "I was surprised when he said he had been cut off financially, he did get payments of up to £2.5m [from Prince Charles and the Duchy of Cornwall] to cover any additional costs of the transition. It was not as if he was totally cut off.

"That was very generous.

"That money was to be used in any way he so wished, including security, everyone knew security was going to be a big cost, that should not be forgotten."

7. They didn't have a plan when they left their royal roles

The couple said in the interview that they "didn't have a plan" to go into "streamers" when they were stepping back from royal life. 

Harry said he thought about production and working with Netflix when he had to pay for their own security.

But according to the Telegraph, they had been speaking to another streaming company while they were still royals.

The paper reported they had a series of meetings with Quibi, which was intended to rival YouTube, from 2019 up until they stepped back as senior royals.

The Telegraph reported: "Throughout 2019, the couple held a series of discussions with senior executives from Quibi including its founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, described as 'one of Hollywood's premier political kingmakers' and its CEO Meg Whitman, a former president of eBay and Hewlett Packard." 

8. Meghan turned over her passport and keys

Meghan said that when she joined the Royal Family she had to hand over her passport and her keys.

There would certainly have been restrictions and changes to her freedom to go out and about. However, other members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, are often pictured driving themselves around. 

And Meghan was able to visit New York for her baby shower before she gave birth to Archie.

She also made several royal trips abroad, and she and Harry took holidays too, which indicates she did have access to her documents at some points.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge attend a Christmas lunch for members of the Royal Family hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on December 19, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Royal Family members are often seen driving themselves around, as here when Prince William drove to Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace in 2018. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

9. They did not blindside the Queen

There are always going to be at least two sides to this comment, but Harry and Meghan insist they did not "blindside" the Queen in January 2020 when they made their statement on Instagram that they wanted to step back as senior royals.

They said in the interview that there had been discussions for two years about their roles within the family.

But friends of Prince William revealed that he did think the couple blindsided the Queen.

According to The Sunday Times, William thought Harry blindsided the Queen in an "insulting and disrespectful way". 

10. Racist comments were made about their unborn child

This is one of the statements which Morgan might be considering as unprovable, mainly because no one has yet been named as being behind them.

Harry and Meghan said there was at least one conversation about the colour of Archie's skin, before he was born, and what that might mean.

Prince William hit back at the remark by telling reporters at an engagement that the royals were "very much not a racist family" and numerous people have come out to defend them since then.

If Meghan and Harry choose not to name the person behind the comments, this is one that remains unprovable. 

11. Holiday parties for tabloids and journalists

The couple said journalists get invited to 'holiday parties' at the palace, indicating there was a "construct at play".

Meghan said: "I mean I think there's a reason that these tabloids have holiday parties at the palace.

"They're hosted by the palace, the tabloids are. You know, there is a construct that's at play there, and because from the beginning of our relationship they were so attacking and inciting so much racism really."

Harry later added: "To simplify it, it's a case of if you as a family member are willing to wine, dine and give full access to these reporters, then you will get better press."

However, several long-term royal correspondents responded to this with confusion and suggested there are no such events.

Royal expert Robert Jobson told MailOnline after the interview: "There are no holiday parties.

"Occasionally on a royal tour the ambassador or the High Commissioner of the Great Britain will invite the press or the local press to a reception or drinks reception, where they have an hour and they can talk off the record about the trip with members of the Royal Family, and that happens Queen downwards.

"It's not a press holiday party, it's not a some sort of way of controlling the events, it's simply a normal and polite thing to do."

Russell Myers, royal editor at the Daily Mirror, tweeted: "Meghan has just claimed Buckingham Palace throw 'holiday parties' for the UK tabloids and now I am wondering why I never got a ticket."

12. The palace press team 'didn't defend Meghan'

Meghan said: "Only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family.

"But they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband."

However some royal correspondents have recounted their own conversations with the palace press office over stories they wanted to run.

Emily Andrews, royal editor of the Mail On Sunday, wrote: "Meghan says the [palace] press team didn't defend her when 'things weren't true'.

"That is just not right. The press team with whom I interacted defended them again & again & again, told me things were wrong (so didn't publish) & indeed tried to stop me when true."

Read more: Piers Morgan claims he's received messages of support from Royal Family after Meghan interview fallout

 Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Meghan Markle in New York City for her baby shower in February 2019. (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

13. Kate made Meghan cry before her wedding

This is another issue which may simply be unprovable either way.

Before the wedding, it was reported that Kate was left in tears after a bridesmaid dress fitting which involved her daughter Charlotte.

However in the interview Meghan said it was Kate who made her cry at the fitting, but defended her as a nice person, saying she made up for it by sending flowers.

Camilla Tominey, who reported the original story, has since stood by her sources and says she continues to believe the first report.

It may be that both women cried. The full story may never be clear.

14. Meghan said she was "silenced"

The Duchess of Sussex said she was silenced while a senior royal. 

This comment may be one of perception – certainly Meghan enjoyed a high profile and was able to highlight many issues that she was passionate about.

But she also seems to have felt that she wasn't able to stand up for herself while she was a senior royal, or correct things she felt were false.

Meghan gave several speeches or remarks when she was a senior royal, and opened up to Tom Bradby during a documentary about them filmed when they were in South Africa on royal tour in 2019.

In the speeches she addressed issues like women's and girls' rights, and empowering women – issues she had championed before she married Harry.

There may of course have been more she wanted to say – since stepping back, she has been more vocal on politics and the importance of voting.

However, other Royal Family members have spoken about voting in the past too. 

This is one issue that could be unprovable either way. 

15. Meghan didn't know about the Royal Family

This is another issue that is confusing and somewhat unprovable.

Meghan said that she did not research her husband to be before she dated him.

She also said she didn't know anything about the royals because she grew up in California.

Photographs have since come out which show her outside Buckingham Palace as a teenager - but this does not mean she had an in-depth knowledge of the family that lived there.

And proving what she knew or what she researched is nigh-on impossible.

Britain's Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Elizabeth, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Anne stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as they watch a fly past to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force in central London, Britain July 10, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Radburn
Meghan, here in July 2018 with other members of the Royal Family, said she didn't research the royals or her future husband. (Reuters/Chris Radburn)

In the biography of the Sussexes Finding Freedom, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, it was claimed: "Naturally both participants in this blind date did their homework with a thorough Google search." 

Scobie and Durand insist they did not speak to the royal couple about the book, so it's not clear who told them they had searched for each other before their date.

16. Meghan didn't have any lessons on royal life

Meghan said that she was even left searching the lyrics of the national anthem because no one taught her what she needed to know about royal life.

However there are several reports that suggest Meghan had been offered lots of help by palace aides and officials, with the Queen giving her some of her most trusted staff.

According to the Daily Mail, one insider said: "There was a brilliant team of very experienced and loyal aides to help them."

The paper claimed the Queen gave Meghan Samantha Cohen, one of her most trusted aides, to help her adjust.

There were also reports before their wedding that Meghan was given training in several areas to help her in her new life.

Scobie and Durand also reported in Finding Freedom that Meghan took part in hostage training.

The book reads: "Meghan took part in a staged kidnapping, where she was bundled into the back of a car by a 'terrorist,' taken to a different location, and then 'saved' by officers using fake guns.

"During the mock kidnapping, Meghan was was even taught to develop a relationship with the enemy. She was also instructed on how to drive a car while in pursuit."

WIDNES, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II (accompanied by Samantha Cohen) attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Meghan and the Queen, with Samantha Cohen at an engagement in June 2018. Cohen was said to be one of the Queen's most trusted advisers. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The book also reported she was given help on when to curtsy to different members of the Royal Family, and how to get out of a car when in a pencil skirt.

However the book did claim she wasn't offered etiquette lessons.

17. Meghan was denied support for her mental health 

Meghan claimed she went to "the institution" to ask for help when she was suffering suicidal thoughts.

But she says she was told she could not have access to help, a claim which left many royal experts and commentators confused as Harry had therapy for several years.

Again, this is currently unproved either way. It's not clear who she spoke to and what happened.

Morgan said in the interview that Meghan should name the people who denied her support.

He said: "You're accusing two people in the Palace of being unspeakably cruel, simply to promote the brand of the Royal Family.

"If that is true, let's have the names of these people."

Morgan has previously said it was "not for me to question if she felt suicidal", as he clarified what he did not believe about her claims.