Piers Morgan rejects claims that racism drove away Harry and Meghan

Julia Hunt
Piers Morgan attends the 2019 British Academy Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

Piers Morgan has hit back at claims that Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family was a response to racism, calling the suggestion a “disgraceful smear” on the British public.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the shock announcement on Wednesday evening, revealing they plan to become financially independent and will be splitting their time between the UK and North America.

Read more: How newspapers reacted to Harry and Meghan’s decision

There have been suggestions that the couple were partly driven away by racism

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex depart Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

However, Good Morning Britain presenter Morgan has taken issue with that stance.

He waded in after British writer Afua Hirsch penned an opinion piece for The New York Times, in which she said: “Harry and Meghan’s act of leaving - two fingers up at the racism of the British establishment - might be the most meaningful act of royal leadership I’m ever likely to see.”

Tweeting a link to the comment, Morgan snapped back: “This ‘it’s all racism’ defence of Meghan is so wrong & such a disgraceful smear on the British people who welcomed our first mixed-race royal with huge enthusiasm.

“Her racial background is not why she’s been criticised.”

Read more: Piers Morgan accuses Meghan of splitting Harry from Royal Family

The Duke and Duchess revealed on Wednesday that they would be stepping back from royal duties after “many months of reflection and internal discussions”.

Buckingham Palace responded to reveal discussions with Harry and Meghan about their decision were “at an early stage”, going on to explain that the situation would be “complicated”.

Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex with their baby Archie at Windsor Castle in Berkshire. (zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx)

Morgan has been a vocal critic of the couple’s decision, calling them “shameless spoiled brats”.

After their announcement, he took to Twitter to claim the Duchess had split Prince Harry away from the Royal Family.

"People say I'm too critical of Meghan Markle - but she ditched her family, ditched her Dad, ditched most of her old friends, split Harry from William & has now split him from the Royal Family. I rest my case," he wrote.

Morgan also lambasted the adjustments made to the Duke and Duchess' media relations policies, where they stated they would no longer be participating in the Royal Rota, a long-standing system used by Buckingham Palace which gives correspondents from UK newspapers access to royal engagements on a sharing basis.

The presenter stated: "Even Putin wouldn't try to pull a stunt like this."