THE Sun has apologised for a column by ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson in which he said he "hated" Meghan Markle. 

Clarkson generated controversy when he said he wanted to see the actress, who is married to Prince Harry, forced to parade through the streets of the UK while people threw "excrement" at her and shouted "shame". 

He later said it was a reference to an episode of Game of Thrones. 

The story became the press regulator's most complained-about article of all time, racking up more than 20,800 complaints. 

In a clarification on the paper's website published on Friday evening, The Sun said: "In last Saturday’s Sun, Jeremy Clarkson wrote a comment article about the Duchess of Sussex.

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"It provoked a strong response and led to a large number of complaints to IPSO, the independent press regulator.

"In a tweet earlier this week, Jeremy said he had made a 'clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones', which had 'gone down badly with a great many people' and he was 'horrified to have caused so much hurt'. He also said he will be more careful in future.

"Columnists’ opinions are their own, but as a publisher, we realise that with free expression comes responsibility.

"We at The Sun regret the publication of this article and we are sincerely sorry.

"The article has been removed from our website and archives.

"The Sun has a proud history of campaigning, from Help for Heroes to Jabs Army and Who Cares Wins, and over 50 years of working in partnership with charities, our campaigns have helped change Britain for the better.

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"Working with our readers, The Sun has helped to bring about new legislation on domestic abuse, provided beds in refuges, closed harmful loopholes in the law and empowered survivors of abuse to come forward and seek help.

"We will continue to campaign for good causes on behalf of our readers in 2023."

The story was condemned by domestic violence charities and Clarkson's own daughter. 

It also referenced Nicola Sturgeon, with Clarkson writing that he "hated" the First Minister as much as he did the serial killer Rose West.