Buckingham Palace is investigating the Meghan Markle bullying allegations

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have stepped down as royal family members and relocated to California, but that certainly doesn't stop them from making headlines.

In fact, this past month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may have made have more news than ever before.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed the news that they were expecting their second child, announced that they would not be returning to royal duties and are soon to be appearing in a video interview with Oprah. And we haven't even touched on their legal battle with the Mail on Sunday.

This week however it was a different reason that made Meghan Markle a conversation topic, as rumours of bullying within Buckingham Palace surfaced.

The Times reported allegations that the Duchess of Sussex had been officially complained about for bullying, with allegations that staff were 'humiliated' and two personal assistants were driven out of their roles.

According to the report, the official compliant was made by the Sussex couple's Communications Secretary, Jason Knauf, who now works for Prince William.

Meghan Markle released the following statement in response to the rumours:

'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.'

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Buckingham Palace has since issued a statement about the allegations:

'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 police in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.'

These allegations were reported just four days before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey is set to air, with a representative for the Sussex couple calling it 'a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation.'

The rep later continued: '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.'

Following allegations of bullying around the Duchess of Sussex, another clip of the Oprah interview dropped.

‘How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?’, Oprah can be seen asking Meghan in the newly released clip. ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there’s an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us and if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, there’s a lot that’s been lost already.’

The 90-minute primetime special will air on CBS on March 7, 2021, and for UK viewers, ITV will be showing it on March 8 at 9pm.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.