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An MSNBC guest has sparked outrage online after calling Meghan Markle “five clicks up from trailer trash” in an interview that aired Saturday.
The “MSNBC Live” segment, which has gone viral, showed British journalist Victoria Mather being interviewed from NBC’s London bureau about the Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry returning to the U.K. after their January decision to step back as senior royals, Deadline.com reported.
Mather, who was identified in the video as a “Vanity Fair Royals Watcher,” told anchor Lindsey Reiser that the former “Suits” star has been “disrespectful” to the British royal family, particularly Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s grandmother.
“I think what has really, really upset the British public is that Meghan Markle, who many people consider as only, you know, five clicks up from trailer trash, has actually tried to disrespect the queen,” said Mather. “And the queen is the most respected person, most respected woman, in the world.”
Reiser, who appeared stunned by the statement, quickly ended the interview.
Mather, who currently writes for Air Mail, didn’t correct Reiser when she was introduced as a “royals watcher” for Vanity Fair. A spokesperson for Conde Nast, the publication’s parent company, told BuzzFeed News Mather has not been employed there since 2018. The outlet also shared that her current employer, Air Mail, was founded last year by former Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter.
The outlet also noted that while Mather’s title at Air Mail is “chief travel correspondent,” she wrote about the royal family for the magazine in September 2019. In her story, Mather described Markle, 38, as “the Duchess of Excess,” while referring to Harry, 35, as “the naughty boy we loved, the soldier who served bravely in Afghanistan” who is now “the Prince of Wokeness.”
“Catherine [Duchess of Cambridge] comes from a stable, close-knit family,” wrote Mather at the time. “Meghan comes from a sadly dysfunctional family, leading her to being unpleasantly trolled as trailer trash. Her soi-distant acting career most recently included a part in a cable-TV series — filmed mostly in Canada, no less! It’s not exactly Grace Kelly, but the British public willed her to be a similar fairy-tale princess.”
Many viewers criticized the interview and described Mather as both “racist” and “disgusting.”
“@MSNBC Thank you for having on Victoria Mather MSNBC London office this morning,” tweeted one viewer. “Interview was COMPLETE validation Meghan and Harry made the right choice to leave Royal Family. Ms. Mather needs to retire because she is terminally sick with vitriol. Her comments were evil.”
Meghan Markle was a Hollywood actress before she became a member of the British royal family.
(Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
“@MSNBC should apologize to Meghan Markle,” added another. “And to their viewers.”
“I am just curious: do u have kids????” tweeted one user to Mather. “Is that the example you’ve given them all those years while they were growing up? Because if the answer to this question is yes, believe me, Vicky, I am gonna start praying for them.”
The royal couple’s announcement in January came just months after they opened up to host Tom Bradby in ITV’s documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” which aired in October 2019 in both the U.K. and U.S.
While the special aimed to give audiences a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the couple’s royal tour of southern African, the pair also spoke out about enduring ruthless tabloid rumors as new parents.
Piers Morgan previously slammed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for announcing they would take “a step back” as senior members of the royal family.
“I think the grass is always greener,” explained the former Hollywood actress. “You have no idea. It’s really hard to understand what it’s like. I know what it seems like it should be, but it’s a very different thing.”
Markle said she and her husband have had conversations about being in the spotlight and all the negativity that comes with it.
“I have said for a long time to H, that’s what I call him, ‘It’s not enough to just survive something,’” said Markle. “’That’s not the point of life. You have to thrive. You have got to feel happy.’ I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a ‘stiff upper life.’ I really tried, but I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.”
The royal went on to tell Bradby she would be more understanding about the scrutiny if it were fair.
“I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair,” said Markle. “And that’s the part that’s really hard to reconcile.”
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)
Markle said before she tied the knot with Harry, some of her friends warned her that becoming a member of the royal family would mean being under the constant glare of the public spotlight and losing your privacy.
“In all fairness, I had no idea, which probably sounds difficult to understand and hear,” said Markle. “But when I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great but you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’”
“And I, very naively — I’m American,” continued Markle. “We don’t have that there — [I said], ‘What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m not in any tabloids.’ I didn’t get it. So it’s been, yeah, it’s been complicated.”
Markle also pointed out it’s been frustrating to see her name — along with her family’s — in headlines concerning stories that she stressed just aren’t true.
“If things are fair, that completely tracks for me if things are fair,” said Markle. “If I do something wrong I’d be the first one to go, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I would never do that,’ but when people are saying things that are just untrue and they’re being told they’re untrue but they’re allowed to still say them, I don’t know anybody in the world who would feel that that’s OK. And that’s different than just scrutiny. That’s, what would you call that? That’s a different beast. It’s really a different beast.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at their royal wedding in May 2018
Markle also got candid with Bradby about the negative attention she has received from the media during her pregnancy and first months with Archie.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” said the 38-year-old. “And then when you have a newborn, you know. … and especially as a woman, it’s a lot.”
“So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed,” continued Markle while holding back tears. “It’s um… yeah. I guess, also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m OK. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
When Bradby asked if it “would be fair” to say that she’s “not really OK, as in it’s really been a struggle,” Markle responded, “Yes.”
Still, Markle said Harry and their son have helped her get through tough times.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020, in London, England.
(Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty)
“It’s OK,” she said. “The good thing is that I’ve got my baby and I’ve got my husband and they’re the best.”
In the documentary, Harry also spoke out against the British tabloids for the “ruthless” treatment Markle has received “over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.”
“Look, part of this job and part of any job, like everybody, means putting on a brave face and turning a cheek to a lot of the stuff,” he explained. “But again, for me and my wife, of course, there’s a lot of stuff that hurts — especially when the majority of it is untrue.”
“All we need to do is focus on being real, focus on being the people we are and standing up for what we believe in,” said Harry. “I will not be bullied into carrying a game that killed my mom.”