A royal mess. Buckingham Palace responded to Meghan Markle’s bullying claims, writing in a statement that the royal household is “very concerned” about recent allegations that the Duchess of Sussex “bullied” her former palace aides.
The palace released their statement on social media on Wednesday, March 3. “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 writes. “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 continues, “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.”
The royal household’s response comes just one day after an explosive report published by British newspaper The Times, which alleged that Meghan, 39, was the subject of a formal complaint launched by a former staffer. The staffer, Jason Knauf, served as the Duchess of Sussex’s former Kensington Palace communications secretary (he now serves as chief executive of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Foundation).
In their report, The Times alleges Knauf raised concerns about her “bullying” behavior and claims she “drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member” before stepping down from her royal duties in 2020.
Meghan’s lawyer told the paper that their report was “being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative” before her and Prince Harry’s forthcoming tell-all interview with Oprah, airing on CBS on March 7. A spokesperson for the Sussexes doubled down after the report was published, calling the Times article a “smear campaign” against the Duchess.
“Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,” the Sussexes’ statement read. “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 statement continued: “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. She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”
Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special airs March 7 on CBS.
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