Buckingham Palace to Investigate Claims of Meghan Markle "Bullying" Royal Staff
A day after a sensational report was released about Meghan Markle allegedly bullying royal aides, Buckingham Palace made the rare move of acknowledging the issue at hand.
British newspaper The Times had reported on Wednesday (SGT) that two assistants who had worked for the Duchess of Sussex in Kensington Palace had been bullied by her.
“We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
The Palace is in charge of hiring royal staff.
“Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned,” the statement continued.
“The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace."
Prince Harry and his wife had also swiftly released a statement to deny the allegations once news got out yesterday.
A spokesperson for the couple said: “Let's just call this what it is—a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet.”
The Times report had cited unnamed sources saying a complaint had been made by a royal aide to the couple against her in 2018. The complaint included that Markle had reduced her staff to tears and caused some staff members to quit because they had been treated badly.
According to a Reuters report that quoted The Times, Prince Harry had urged the aide to drop the complaint, and it never progressed. The Times added that it was contacted by former royal aides who wanted to share more information ahead of the Sussexes’ bombshell tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, which is set to air in the UK and US on March 7.
Prince Harry and Markle’s spokesperson also said the claims made in The Times' report were "defamatory" and that a legal letter of rebuttal had been sent to the media outlet, CNN reported.
Although their team hasn’t responded to Buckingham Palace’s latest statement, a new preview of the Winfrey interview was just released today too. And for the first time, viewers got to hear Markle speak about royal life during the interview.
In the teaser clip shown above, Markle accused the Palace of "perpetuating falsehoods".
She said: “I don't know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”
‘The Firm’ is a nickname that was reportedly coined by Prince Philip, in reference to the royal family and its mission to support and protect the British monarchy.
Over the past year, both Prince Harry and his wife have remained in the spotlight after making the shocking decision of stepping back from their roles as senior working royals. The news had grabbed international headlines and the couple’s movements were constantly reported since then as they continued on a new post-royal life path they had laid out, from landing multimillion-dollar deals with Spotify and Netflix to relocating as a family to Markle’s native California.
After announcing that they were expecting their second child, Prince Harry also made a surprise appearance on the Late Late Show with James Corden. He revealed several anecdotes about his new life in the US and also shared that he would have video calls with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip via Zoom.
(Related: Prince Harry’s Interview With James Corden: 16 of Our Favourite Moments)
The interview with Winfrey is expected to be wide-ranging and cover Prince Harry and Markle’s experience as a royal couple working together before they stepped back.