Current track

Title

Artist

Current show

Roll Back the Carpets

5:00 pm 7:00 pm

Current show

Roll Back the Carpets

5:00 pm 7:00 pm


Buckingham Palace investigating bullying claims as duchess says she was victim of ‘smear campaign’

Written by on 4 March 2021

Buckingham Palace has said it is investigating claims of bullying after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they were victims of a “smear campaign”.

The Times newspaper has reported that the complaint was made in October 2018 by Jason Knauf who was then the Sussexes’ communications secretary.

The complaint claimed Meghan had allegedly driven two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member, the newspaper said.

Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah. Pic: CBS Image: Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah. Pic: CBS

A statement from Buckingham Palace said it was “clearly very concerned” about the allegations.

It said: “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.”

Lawyers for Harry and Meghan said the claims are based on “misleading and harmful misinformation”.

And Meghan’s spokesman said: “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.”

The report comes just days before Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey is due to be aired.

The two-hour special will be screened on Sunday in the US and is expected to be shown in the UK on 8 March.

The royal household will be braced for the show’s revelations as the couple discuss their life within the Royal Family and their exit from the working monarchy.

In clips promoting the interview, Winfrey asks Meghan if she was “silent or silenced”, with the duchess’s answer not revealed.

In response to a comment by the duchess, Winfrey asks: “Almost unsurvivable. Sounds like there was a breaking point?”

Harry is seen saying of his mother, Diana, while holding Meghan’s hand: “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you, with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her (Diana), going through this process by herself, all those years ago.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  The photo was taken remotely by friend and photographer Misan Harriman. Image: This family photo was taken remotely by friend and photographer Misan Harriman

A PR expert has described the timing of the interview, with the Duke of Edinburgh currently unwell in hospital, as “horrendous”.

Public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski warned Harry and Meghan are at risk of a “real reputational mess” if they go ahead with the broadcast in the US on Sunday and said it should be postponed.

Harry’s grandfather Philip, 99, spent nearly two weeks in the private King Edward VII’s Hospital before being transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital on Monday for tests on a pre-existing heart condition.

Source