British tabloid The Sun on Friday said it regretted publishing a column by former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson about Prince Harry’s wife Meghan after a huge backlash.
In the article for The Sun last week, Clarkson wrote that he “hated” Meghan and dreamed of the day “when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her”.
A record number of complaints against the column — more than 20,000 — was made to the UK Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) and many high-profile figures criticised the piece, including author Philip Pullman and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
The article had been written in response to the couple’s recent Netflix docuseries “Harry & Meghan” but has since been removed from the newspaper’s website.
“We at The Sun regret the publication of this article and we are sincerely sorry,” The Sun said in a statement on its website.
It added the article would also be removed from its archives.
The Sun had already removed the article on Monday from its website at the request of Clarkson who said on Twitter he made “a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people”.
He added: “I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”
In one of the most famous scenes in Game of Thrones, a female character makes a “walk of shame” where she is forced to walk down the streets naked as people throw rubbish at her.
“Columnists’ opinions are their own, but as a publisher, we realise that with free expression comes responsibility,” The Sun said.
In the Netflix documentary, Harry and Meghan accuse the voracious UK tabloid press of racism, of trying to “destroy” her and of contributing to her miscarriage through a targeted campaign fuelled by palace briefings.