Buckingham Palace Says It Will Investigate Bullying Claims Against Meghan Markle
The duchess has denied what she called an "attack on her character."
Shortly after a piece in the Times in the U.K. alleging that Meghan Markle bullied staff members at Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace has released a statement saying their "HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article."
In a statement obtained by royal reporter Omid Scobie, a rep for Buckingham Palace said, "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," the statement continued.
The statement comes after a report in The Times that the duchess received a complaint from one of her close advisers during her time as a working royal. 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 to The Times. "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 that the 2018 complaint made by the couple's former communications secretary Jason Knauf detailed incidents of the Duchess of Sussex driving two personal assistants out of the household and "undermining the confidence" of a third staff member.
"Let's just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation," a spokesperson for the Sussexes said. "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 report, as well as Buckingham Palace's statement, comes just days before Harry and Meghan's highly-anticipated interview with Oprah, which has been promised to be no-holds-barred, with no subject off-limits.
Oprah is set to speak to the duchess about stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under public scrutiny. Prince Harry will join them later on to speak about their move to the U.S. and their future hopes and dreams for their family.