Meghan Markle was accused of bullying two personal assistants out of the household and undermining the confidence of a third staff member.
The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has been accused of bullying by one of her advisers during her time as a working royal at Kensington Palace, but she has denied the claims. Markle and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who had an intense interview with Oprah Winfrey, where they opened up about their decision to leave the royal family as senior members, claim that the accusations are a "smear campaign." They are also questioning the timing of it.
"The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma," a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement obtained by People.
Britain’s The Times alleged that Markle’s behavior when she was working at the palace led to a written complaint in October 2018 by the couple’s former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, according to Vulture. The former communications secretary said that Markle "drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third staff member." In the complaint, it was also mentioned that she bullied many palace staffers, who were often reduced to tears by her “unacceptable” behavior.
Knauf wrote an email to Prince William’s private secretary, Simon Case, claiming that he and the Palace’s head of HR Samantha Carruthers thought "the situation was very serious” and he was “concerned that nothing will be done."
"I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year," Knauf wrote, according to News.com.au. "The treatment of X was totally unacceptable. The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y," Knauf, who is now chief executive of William and Kate’s Royal Foundation, said.
A representative for Markle questioned the timing of the article. "Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation," the statement from Markle read, according to Vulture. "We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of the Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining the duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and the duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years."
The palace released a statement about the accusations and said that they will be investigating Markle's past behavior. "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 read, according to News.com.au.
According to the Sun, the Sussexes said that The Times was "being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative" ahead of their Winfrey interview. According to BBC, Markle also told Winfrey, "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."
Senior royal sources defended the palace saying that the members of the royal family had nothing to do with the accusations. "That is patently not the case. It is untrue and disingenuous to say so. Quite frankly there are far more important things going in the world rather than the circus going on round a television interview," the source told the Sun UK. The royal family is reportedly more concerned about the health of Prince Philip, 99, who has been hospitalized.
However, people on social media are calling out the royal family for targeting Markle when Prince Andrew, who is known to be linked to child abuser late Jeffrey Epstein, is right there and not being questioned. The palace simply denied the accusations against Andrew, as per Harper's Bazaar.
The British Media When you mention Prince Andrew... pic.twitter.com/ZkNBYc9i9S— Part of the Rebel Alliance and a Traitor (@HerRoyalDykness) March 3, 2021
Anyway, congrats to the Royal Family and Buckingham Palace for confirming everything I hate about the institution and proving once again why our tax paying money should not go anywhere to support this fucked up, overprivileged family. Sell a Palace if you need funds.— Hanna Ines Flint (@HannaFlint) March 3, 2021
The interview with Winfrey will be aired on March 7, Sunday.
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