Jeremy Clarkson emailed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to apologise over a controversial column in which he said he "hated" the former actress.

Jeremy Clarkson has said sorry

Jeremy Clarkson has said sorry

The 'Grand Tour' star sparked outrage in December when he wrote in his page for The Sun newspaper that he was "dreaming of the day" Meghan would be foced to "parade naked through the streets" while crowds threw excrememnt and shouted "Shame" at the duchess, with his own daughter Emily among his critics.

Jeremy previously said he was "horrified to have caused so much hurt" and vowed to "be more careful in future", asking The Sun to remove the column - the most complained about ever - from their website, but he's now issued a more lengthy apology and revealed he contacted the royal couple directly.

He wrote on Instagram: "Usually, I read what I've written to someone else before filing, but I was home alone on that fateful day, and in a hurry. So when I'd finished, I just pressed Send. And then, when the column appeared the next day, the landmine exploded.

"I therefore wrote to everyone who works with me saying how sorry I was and then, on Christmas morning, I e-mailed Harry and Meghan in California to apologise to them too. I said I was baffled by what they had been saying on TV but that the language I'd used in my column was disgraceful and that I was profoundly sorry.

"Over the last 30 years, I have written very nearly 5,000 newspaper and magazine columns, so it was inevitable that, one day, I'd do a Harry Kane and sky one of the damn things. Which is what happened with the piece about Meghan."

Jeremy admitted he "felt sick" when he read his column for the first time and the 62-year-old broadcaster thinks he made the situation worse for himself for failing to add context to his remarks, which referenced a scene from 'Game of Thrones'.

He said: "It was a slow rumble to start with, and I ignored it. But then the rumble got louder. So I picked up a copy of The Sun to see what all the fuss was about.

"We've all been there, I guess. In that precise moment when we suddenly realise we've completely messed up. You are sweaty and cold at the same time. And your head pounds. And you feel sick. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Had I really said that? It was horrible.

"I knew what had happened straight away. I'd been thinking of a scene in 'Games Of Thrones', but I'd forgotten to mention this. So it looked like I was actually calling for revolting violence to rain down on Meghan's head. I was very angry with myself because in all those controversial days on 'Top Gear', when I was accused of all sorts of things, it was very rarely sexism.

"We never did 'women can't park' gags for instance. Or suggested that powerful cars were only for men. And I was thrilled when Jodie Kidd and Ellen MacArthur set fastest-ever laps in our reasonably-priced car. I'm just not sexist and I abhor violence against women. And yet I seemed to be advocating just that.

"I was mortified and so was everyone else. My phone went mad. Very close friends were furious. Even my own daughter took to Instagram to denounce me."