Sussex cheerleaders, such as journalist Omid Scobie, highlighted the friendship between Clarkson and the Queen Consort – pointing to the fact that they both attended a private lunch hosted by Ewan Venters, former chief executive of Fortnum and Mason, in Mayfair, central London, last week .
When she edited Country Life magazine in July, she revealed she used to enjoy “sneaking a crafty fag” with the former Top Gear presenter, whom she named as one of her “country champions”.
Clarkson wrote of the Duchess of Sussex: “I hate her. Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.”
Ms Sturgeon said she pitied Clarkson, asking what made him “so distorted by hate”.
She said his comments about the Duchess were “beyond the pale” and advised him to “take a step back from things”.
Lord Faulks, chairman of Ipso, pulled out of a private dinner with Rupert Murdoch, owner of News UK, on Monday night in the wake of the fallout.
An Ipso spokesman said: “As part of his role as chairman of Ipso, Lord Faulks often meets publishers and editors. Lord Faulks was due to attend a longstanding engagement this evening hosted by Rupert Murdoch and attended by News UK executives.
“Because of the volume of complaints about Jeremy Clarkson’s column, Lord Faulks felt his attendance would not be appropriate at this time and has explained this to the organisers.”
Christine Flack, the mother of Caroline Flack, the television presenter who took her own life at the age of 40, said: “We shouldn’t be allowed to just say awful things.”