James Blunt’s staunch defence of Harry and Meghan against ‘vitriolic’ critics

Meghan Markle and Harry under ‘great scrutiny’ says James Blunt

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James features on Stand Up To Cancer tonight at 10pm on Channel 4.The singer will give his song You’re Beautiful an eyebrow-raising reboot, while a portion of the night will also feature a special tribute to much-loved comedian Sean Lock who died on August 16 of lung cancer. The programme offers an evening’s entertainment hosted by Alan Carr, Maya Jama, Adam Hills and Davina McCall, and will feature cameos from a host of musicians, actors and sportspeople.

The money raised will go towards funding life-saving cancer research, with Stand Up To Cancer having raised £84 million in the UK and funded 59 critical trials. 

James, who featured in last year’s Celebrity British Bake Off in support of the fundraiser, said: “Almost every person has been touched by cancer in their own way and it’s fantastic to get involved.”

James has rubbed shoulders with A-listers since the release of his debut album ‘Back to Bedlam’ in October 2004, which has sold over 11 million copies worldwide. 

However, the singer struck up a friendship with Harry while the pair served in the British Army together, and they have remained close ever since.

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James even performed at the 2016 Invictus Games after Harry reportedly invited him over text. 

In an October 2019 appearance on Good Morning Britain the pop star told Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard that the media coverage of the Sussexes was “verging on bullying”.

James, who attended Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding said: “I do know [the couple], I might have spoken briefly about it.

“What I think I can see is they seem to be on the cover of the newspapers a lot and it seems to me to be quite vitriolic quite a lot of the time.

“Him I know from the army.

“He’s a very nice man, a really phenomenal soldier who does a lot of work for other people, for charities, for veterans, the Sentebale charity for children in Africa.”

James added: “I think under great scrutiny they seem to try a lot for other people.

“So the vitriol seems a bit like leaning on bullying to me.”

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James was speaking after the Duchess of Sussex publicly admitted to struggling with becoming a new mother under intense media scrutiny. 

ITV’s Tom Bradby asked during the couple’s 2019 tour of southern Africa how Meghan was feeling.

The Duchess responded: “Look, any woman ‒ especially when they are pregnant ‒ you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging, 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.

“And also, thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m okay.

“But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

Months after the GMB interview with James, Harry and Meghan quit the Royal Family in January 2020, which sparked tensions between the Sussexes and the rest of the Firm. 

Tensions widened in March 2021 when the couple gave a tell-all interview to Oprah Winfrey in which they were critical of royal life and claimed they were hounded by British media. 

In a subsequent mental health documentary `The Me You Can’t See’, which Harry produced with Oprah for AppleTV+, the prince claimed the press is: “Desperately trying to control the narrative because they know that if they lose it the truth will come out.”

Harry did not specify what truth he was referring to. 

Watch James on Stand Up To Cancer at 10pm on Channel 4.

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