Apparently, the folks over at the Daily Mail just couldn’t resist.
Thursday’s release of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s gorgeous engagement photos prompted this headline from the British tabloid:
Yes, they’re joyfully in love. So why do I have a niggling worry about this engagement picture?
Sure. Technically, the word “niggling” is an actual word. It means “bothersome or persistent especially in a petty or tiresome way,” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.
But still. Why?
The tabloid is the UK’s No. 1 selling newspaper in print and digital. Obviously, Daily Mail is very much aware of what headlines will get clicks and sell papers.
Is Meghan Markle’s racial background a part of that?
Some Twitter users were quick to put the magazine on blast. Check out some of the Twitter responses below.
The word 'niggling' is not an accident. pic.twitter.com/rngWQvGMYE
— Danny (@shckldg) December 22, 2017
The front page of the Mail today.
Sarah Vine aka Mrs Gove has a ‘niggling’ concern it seems.
A ‘niggling’ worry about a woman with one black parent joining the royal family.
‘Niggling’. Her word. Mrs Gove. Bodes well eh? 👍 pic.twitter.com/BqgkA6VuAt
— 🇪🇺 Joe 🇪🇺 (@Civvy_Joe) December 22, 2017
— Max Joseph (@jaxmoseph) December 22, 2017
Niggling? NIGGLING??? pic.twitter.com/ZI6pij6skR
— Jason Sinclair (@jlsinc) December 22, 2017
“Niggling” The Daily Mail always find a way lol. pic.twitter.com/BAHk4LwLcq
— Christiana Amarachi Mbakwe (@Christiana1987) December 22, 2017
The word "niggling" isn't exactly a commonly used word. The fact that she is black, and the word "niggling" starts the same as a common racial slur….
— Jonathan Hibberd (@kageneko) December 22, 2017
Update: 2:00 pm ET
A spokesman for The Daily Mail released the following statement to theGrio.com:
“There are absolutely no racial overtones to the use of the word ‘niggling’ and if anyone has formed any different impression we give our complete assurance that was not our intention. “Niggling” is a word of Scandinavian origin which is commonly used in the UK and simply means bothersome or persistent. It has been used in the past in numerous headlines by the Mail and other national newspapers on a whole variety of subjects. Meghan Markle’s African-American heritage makes her a most welcome addition to the Royal Family, and the Daily Mail joins everyone in Britain in wishing her and Harry every possible happiness.”