This Morning Guest Julia Hartley-Brewer Sparks Ofcom Complaints After Meghan Markle Comments

Daniel Welsh
·Entertainment Reporter
·3-min read

This Morning has sparked a wave of Ofcom complaints after a guest’s recent comments mocking Meghan Markle’s claims about her experiences of racism as a member of the Royal Family.

Last week, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Nicola Thorpe were invited onto This Morning via video-link to discuss the day’s headlines.

This included a newly-released photo of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip taken in 2018, posing with seven of their great-grandchildren.

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Asked for her thoughts on the picture, Julia quickly turned the conversation to the Duchess of Sussex, commenting: “I wonder if Meghan [Markle] has managed to take offence to this photograph that doesn’t include her son.” 

Julia then suggested Meghan “probably thinks it’s a racist photograph”, going on to point out that it was taken before Meghan and Prince Harry’s son was born.

Watch: Prince Harry Has Returned Home to L.A.

“I’m sure she’s managed to take offence at it anyway,” Julia then said.

Fellow guest Nicola Thorpe told Julia she was “kind of pushing [an] agenda” with her remarks, stating: “To suggest that Meghan would think that something was racist, something that didn’t even exist at the time, you yourself are kind of pushing this agenda.”

Julia Hartley-Brewer on This Morning (Photo: ITV)
Julia Hartley-Brewer on This Morning (Photo: ITV)

“I’m making a joke pointing out that some people are able to find offence in anything,” Julia responded. “As it seems she would’ve done after pointing the finger at senior Royals without naming names.”

At this point presenter Dermot O’Leary stepped in to move the conversation along, commenting: “Ladies please, let’s move on to the next subject – we thought we’d start off with a lighter topic.”

Ofcom has now revealed they have received 203 complaints about the incident (per Metro).

As is standard procedure, these complaints will be looked into, before Ofcom decides whether to launch an investigation.

Julia was referring to the Duchess of Sussex’s recent sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she claimed a senior member of the Royal Family had expressed racist concerns about the colour of her son’s skin to Prince Harry before Archie was born.

Meghan Markle during a visit to South Africa in 2018 (Photo: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Meghan Markle during a visit to South Africa in 2018 (Photo: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)

Although she and Prince Harry refused to reveal exactly who had made the comments, Oprah later said the couple had told her it was not the Queen or Prince Philip.

Last month, Ofcom announced that they would be launching an investigation following a string of comments about Meghan made by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain.

The day after Meghan’s interview aired, Piers and Susanna Reid watched a clip of Meghan talking about the suicidal feelings she experienced after becoming a member of the Royal Family.

“I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help,” Meghan said in the clip. “I said that I’d never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, because it wouldn’t be good for the institution.” 

Back in the studio, Piers said: “I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says… I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report, and the fact that she’s fired up this onslaught against our royal family, I think is contemptible.”

Piers’ remarks were condemned by leading mental health charity Mind, and his co-host, and shortly after Ofcom announced they were investigating the matter, the divisive presenter revealed he was quitting GMB after five years.

This Morning airs every weekday from 10am on ITV, with Good Morning Britain starting at 6am on the same channel.

Watch: Chrissy Teigen reveals Meghan Markle reached out to her after son Jack's death: 'she's been so kind'

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.