Family feud. Prince William slammed Meghan Markle at Prince Philip’s funeral after claims she bullied members of the royal staff.
A source told The Daily Mail on Friday, June 25, that William called Meghan “that bloody woman” to his friends at Philip’s funeral in April for how she allegedly treated his staff when she and her husband, Prince Harry, lived in Kensington Palace. “But look at the way that bloody woman treated my staff—merciless,” William said, according to The Daily Mail.
In March, Meghan responded to rumors that she bullied members of the royal staff after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, filed a complaint with William’s secretary at the time, claiming that Meghan had mistreated two personal assistants at Kensington Palace and and undermined a third employee.
“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 rep for Meghan said in a statement at the time. “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.”
The Times, which originally published the claims, also reported that staff members would often cry because of the Duchess of Sussex, with one aide telling the newspaper that they couldn’t “stop shaking” when they learned they would have to work with Meghan.
In a statement to The Times, a spokesperson for Meghan and Harry called the claims a “calculated smear campaign” and accused the newspaper of defamation.“Let’s just call this what it is—a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,” the statement read. “We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet.”
The rep went on to suggest that the claims were a way to “undermine” Meghan and Harry ahead of their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired days after the allegations. “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.
Philip’s funeral in April saw Harry and William reunite for the first time since the Duke of Sussex stepped down from the British royal family in January 2020 and moved with Meghan to North America. According to a source for The Daily Mail, William and Harry were at “each other’s throats” at the funeral due to the Duke of Sussex’s Oprah interview. “There they were, at each other’s throats as fiercely as ever,” the insider said. “The rage and anger between those two has grown so incredibly deep. Too many harsh and wounding things have been said.” The source continued, “The conflict between Diana’s two bitterly divided sons does not seem likely to end any time soon.”
During Harry’s interview with Oprah, he claimed that William and their father, Prince Charles, were too “trapped” by the royal family to see the truth about how they treated him and Meghan. “I am part of the system with them, I always have been, but I guess — and I’m very aware of this — my brother can’t leave that system, but I have,” Harry said. “My father and my brother are trapped. They don’t get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that.”
For more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s time in the British royal family, read Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s New York Times bestseller, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. The book tells all on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship, from how they met to their wedding to the birth of their son, Archie. Finding Freedom also dives into the “true story” of why Harry and Meghan left the royals at the end of 2019 and moved to the United States amid their secret drama with their family. Consisting of interviews and accounts with Harry and Meghan’s closest confidants, Finding Freedom is a must-read for any royal follower.
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