Meghan Markle and Buckingham Palace engaged in an escalating war of words Wednesday after a report in the Times newspaper alleged she bullied members of staff when she was a working royal.
The news story outlined the claim the Duchess of Sussex received a bullying complaint from one of her close advisers during her time living in England with husband Prince Harry. Her office has denied the allegation.
“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. “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 reports the 2018 complaint made by the couple’s former communications secretary Jason Knauf detailed incidents of Meghan driving two personal assistants out of the household and “undermining the confidence” of a third staff member.
According to Times another source stated the Duke of Sussex pleaded with Knauf not to go to HR, and that Knauf sent an email to Simon Case (Prince William’s’ secretary) who forwarded to Samantha Carruthers, head of HR.
Lawyers for the Sussexes refute the allegation any meetings regarding staff matter took place with a representative for the royal pair, calling the accusations a “calculated smear campaign” that follows other allegations made just last month.
No one likes faux elites Meghan and Harry https://t.co/aHmVCmP7QG
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 23, 2021
“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.”
The Times story also revealed the duchess wore earrings to a formal dinner in Fiji in 2018 that were a wedding gift from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who is said by U.S. intelligence agencies to have approved the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The dinner took place three weeks after the killing.
At the time it was reported that the earrings were borrowed. The duchess does not deny this was what she said, despite being aware of their provenance, according to the Times.
The dispute between Meghan Markle and Buckingham Palace comes ahead of the royal pair’s televised interview with Oprah Winfrey is part of their concerted effort to “redefine their roles” in society, as Breitbart News reported.
The Oprah interview special is scheduled to air March 7 on CBS and at a later date in Britain.