“We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the palace said. “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 continued, “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.”
Buckingham Palace is not classifying the inquiry an “internal investigation,” but an examination of the allegations and an opportunity for those involved to participate. That being said, the Sussexes themselves will not be part of the initial inquiry.
Markle has since denied the allegations.
A spokesperson for Meghan and Prince Harry 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 complaint, which The Times reports was made in October 2018 by the couple’s former communications secretary Jason Knauf, claimed Meghan drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third staff member.
The Times reveals how Knauf submitted the complaint in an effort to protect palace staffers who were allegedly bullied by the Duchess of Sussex. One royal aide, who anticipated a confrontation with Meghan, allegedly informed a colleague: “I can’t stop shaking.”
A source reveals how Harry pleaded with Knauf not to pursue the HR complaint. But lawyers for Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, deny that any meeting took place or that the Duke of Sussex would have interfered with any staff matter.
Reportedly, Knauf sent an email to Simon Case, Prince William‘s private secretary at the time and now the cabinet secretary, after conversations with Samantha Carruthers, the head of HR. Case then forwarded it to Carruthers. In his email, Knauf said Carruthers “agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious.” He added: “I remain concerned that nothing will be done.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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