Dame Deborah James defends her Meghan Markle 'Jubilee joke' after criticism

·3 min read
Dame Deborah James defended her joke about Meghan Markle.
Dame Deborah James defended her comment about Meghan Markle. (PA)

Dame Deborah James has said a comment she made about Meghan Markle "stealing her thunder" during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations was a joke.

The journalist and campaigner, 40, who is receiving end-of-life care for bowel cancer, was forced to clarify a comment she made about the Duchess of Sussex in a newspaper article published over the bank holiday weekend.

In an interview published last Friday, Dame Deborah told The Sun: “I'm determined not to die over the Jubilee weekend, I don’t want Meghan stealing my thunder.

Read more: Platinum Jubilee pageant closes epic four-day celebration of Queen's 70-year reign

“I haven’t worked so hard to raise cancer awareness and money to help find a cure, only to miss out on another Sun front page when I go.”

Watch: Harry and Meghan get mixed reception as they leave Jubilee thanksgiving service

The comment sparked a small backlash on social media, with one Twitter user saying it was "uncalled for" and another said they would "lose a bit of respect for her".

But Dame Deborah stood by her comment, tweeting on Sunday that it was "a joke".

She said: "Megan comment is a joke, apparently you can still find a send off fun in your day! The rest is not."

In the interview, Dame Deborah said she was “angry” at the fact that she is terminally ill and said she doesn’t want to die.

Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex attending Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen  part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, St Paul�s Cathedral. Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at a service of thanksgiving to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee at the weekend. (PA)
Dame Deborah James with her husband, Sebastien Bowen, at the Chelsea Flower Show last month. (PA)
Dame Deborah James with her husband, Sebastien Bowen, at the Chelsea Flower Show last month. (PA)

She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and began documenting her journey with treatments on social media, which led to a huge following.

She revealed last month that she was receiving hospice at home care. Two days later, she was made a dame. Her damehood was conferred on her by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, at her family home.

Deborah James posted on social media when the Duke of Cambridge conferred her damehood last month. (PA)
Deborah James posted on social media when the Duke of Cambridge conferred her damehood last month. (PA)

Read more: Queen makes surprise appearance on Buckingham Palace balcony

Dame Deborah has raised more than £6.6m for Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity through her Bowelbabe fund on JustGiving.

She said “Dying is really hard. I’ve been consumed by anger this week, in all honesty, I’ve been a real b***h.

“I keep shouting at people and pushing them away. I’m angry at what’s happening to me. I don’t want to die.

“There’s no right or wrong way to die. I’m still doing this my way. I’m frustrated with my situation because I don’t want to die. I don’t think I will ever really accept it.

Watch: Dame Deborah James visits Chelsea Flower Show

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting