Meghan Markle attended the opening ceremony of Prince Harry's Invictus Games for injured service personnel over the weekend. The occasion marked the Suits actor’s first ever royal engagement – but Markle did not sit next to Harry in the stands at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, preferring to keep the media’s attention on the events “real heroes”.
Naturally, Piers Morgan (aka Good Morning Britain’s resident rent-a-gob) had something to say about this.
Speaking about the couple’s decision to sit separately (a subject which the GMB presenter deemed himself to be an expert on), Morgan said: “All [Harry] has done is cause a massive distraction. I wish I could advise the royals. Harry, this is what you should have done, mate.
“Two days ago, when you got to Toronto, you should have taken Meghan out for dinner and posed for pictures. You should have given them what they want.
“It looks ridiculous to not have your girlfriend sitting next to you because some bloke at the Palace said you shouldn't.”
So far, so Morgan.
However, the seasoned misogynist took things a step too far when he went on to objectify Markle, stripping her of all autonomy and referring to her as nothing more than “the woman [Harry] is having sex with.”
“It's just common sense really, isn't it?” squawked Morgan.
“When have you ever been to any important event where you are literally 50 metres away from the woman you're having sex with? It's ridiculous!”
It wasn’t long before Twitter was flooded with complaints about Morgan’s terminology:
I can’t believe that he’s referring to his girlfriend as the person he has sex with. Just say partner or girlfriend #gmb— Brittany (@Britttttanyx) September 25, 2017
If Harry is going to listen to anyone, I very much doubt that it would be Piers #gmb— Brittany (@Britttttanyx) September 25, 2017
However, there were more than a few who wilfully missed the point of people’s complaints:
#GMB Dear The Times, Absolutely outraged that Mr Morgan infers that Prince Harry has sex! Disgusted, Crawley— David 🇬🇧 (@djb0607) September 25, 2017
Rather than be outraged over the fact the word “sex” was used on daytime television, the issue is to do with Markle being reduced to ‘the woman Prince Harry is having sex with’. Because, in stripping her down to nothing more than that, Morgan has effectively stripped away her identity – and reminded women everywhere of ‘their place’ in this patriarchal society.
There’s no getting away from the fact that Markle is dating Prince Harry, who confirmed their relationship in a powerful and unprecedented statement. But she’s more than his latest romance – and she’s not just a TV star, either. Markle is also a philanthropist, writer and fashion designer. She has penned countless essays about racism, human rights and the perils of fame. She is her own person – and she is absolutely more than a royal WAG.
As Markle puts it herself in her Vanity Fair interview: “[Harry and I] were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception.
“Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
Maybe this will make Morgan think twice about defining women by their relationships in the future. But, considering the kind of person he is (aka the kind who proudly declares himself to be Donald Trump’s close friend, if you’re wondering), we sorely doubt it.
Images: Rex Features