Bill Maher and Piers Morgan sparred after the HBO host slammed the “idea of royalty” as “offensive to him” and said that calling Queen Elizabeth II “Your Highness” was incredibly “illiberal.”
During the “Club Random with Bill Maher” podcast Monday, Maher was speaking to his guest — former host of “Good Morning Britain” Piers Morgan — about his sudden exit from the show. Morgan had ruffled feathers when he blasted Meghan Markle’s accusations against the Royal Family, which included racism, in her tell-all interview in March 2021 with Oprah Winfrey.
Morgan reiterated that he “didn’t believe a word” the Duchess of Sussex said in her “Oprah whine-a-thon,” and that led to Maher referring to the queen as the “old bag” —which Morgan made clear he didn’t like. It starts at the 4:00 minute mark here.
“Can you not call Her Majesty ‘the old bag?'” Morgan said.
“Really?” Maher asked, appearing to be genuinely shocked.
“I’ve got to have some limits for my country,” the former Britain TV host explained. “I don’t mind you trashing our television, that’s fair enough, ’cause you’re right about a lot of that. But Her Majesty the Queen –.”
“The Queen has been on that throne 70 years and actually I would say of all leaders of any kind in the world, probably, despite everything, remains the most respected leader of all of the world,” he added.
“Okay, f*** me!” Maher replied.
“You can’t call her offensive names in my presence without me calling you out on it,” Morgan answered.
The conversation then turned to the overall idea of royalty itself, and Maher argued that there was no comparison to having to call someone Mr. President and “Your Highness.”
“Okay, but this is the same kind of thing,” the host of “Real Time with Bill Maher” shared. “The Queen, even though your rational mind must know this is just an incredible bunch of bulls***, just the idea of royalty is offensive to me. … The premise that some human being calls another human being ‘Your Highness’ I find to be incredibly illiberal.”
“But you call the leader of your country every four years ‘Mr. President,” Morgan replied.
“But that’s his job,” Maher said. “That’s not ‘Your Highness.’ You don’t see a difference in ‘Your Highness’ and ‘Mr. President?'”
“But I think you’re missing the point,” Piers shared. “The Queen’s job has purely been to be a figurehead of stability and as a calming influence in difficult times. She’s actually been very effective.”
“Okay but I’m just saying that name ‘Your Highness’ should be offensive to you,” Maher reiterated.
Morgan said he actually doesn’t call her ‘Your Highness’ and instead refers to her as “Your Majesty.”
Maher then asked if his guest had actually talked to the queen and he said yes, “many times,” and shared how the member of the royal family has a pretty great sense of humor.
“You talk to that exalted wonderful woman?” Maher joked “She calls you like [former President Donald] Trump calls Hannity?”
“Not quite like that but she’s very funny,” Morgan shared.