Buckingham Palace Says It’s Investigating Meghan Markle Bullying Claim Ahead of Oprah Interview

Culture
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Prince Philip is currently in the hospital, and Britain is still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. But Buckingham Palace has apparently decided to shift its focus to claims royal aides made to The Times that a bullying complaint against Meghan Markle was filed when the Duchess of Sussex was a working royal family member two years ago. The report was published last night, despite it being over a year since the Duchess and her husband Prince Harry stepped back from their royal family roles, a move they made permanent last month. They will be giving their first interview about what happened to Oprah, set to air this Sunday on CBS.

In a sign that the royal family is quite bothered by the Oprah interview, Buckingham Palace released a statement announcing its intention to investigate the complaint. The Palace included a menacing line directed to Meghan and Harry, which read, “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 full statement read:

We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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 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.

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The Royal Household, for what it’s worth, never once made any statement condemning the harassment and bullying Meghan was targeted with for years at the hands of the British tabloids once she married into the family.

Meghan’s spokesperson released a statement to The Times about the bullying story, calling it another “attack” on Meghan’s character and a smear campaign.

Her communications team 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. 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.

In a detailed legal letter of rebuttal to The Times, we have addressed these defamatory claims in full, including spurious allegations regarding the use of gifts loaned to The Duchess by the Crown.

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.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on that story. This investigation announcement is their first remark on it.

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