Meghan Markle ‘bullying’ report buried by Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has effectively buried a report on allegations of bullying by the Duchess of Sussex.

Royal aides have admitted for the first time that the findings will never be made public.

A source said last night: “People suspected he would be buried, and now it looks like he has been.”

The Daily Mail reports that even those who took part in the investigation have not been told what the outcome is.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave after a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral in London, Friday, June 3, 2022, in the second of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee.  .  Events over a long bank holiday weekend in the UK are meant to celebrate the monarch's 70 years of service.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)
camera iconPrince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Platinum Jubilee. celebrations Credit: matt dunham/access point

Palace officials only confirmed that their investigation had been completed and “recommendations regarding our policy and procedures” had been carried out.

Royal aides announced in March last year that they were launching an investigation into claims that Meghan’s “disparaging” behavior while a hard-working member of the royal family kicked two personal assistants out of the home and “undermined the trust” of a third. .

Staff were said to be left crying and feeling “traumatised”, with some comparing their condition to post-traumatic stress.

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The Royal House has hired an outside law firm, paid for privately by the family, to investigate the claims in a move some predicted could heighten tensions between Harry and Meghan and “the institution”.

The accusations have always been vigorously denied by the Duchess, whose lawyers called them a “calculated smear campaign” at the time.

They did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Last year, a palace spokesman made it clear details of the allegations, which Harry and Meghan’s concerned press secretary Jason Knauf pointed out to household staff at the time, would not be investigated.

But they said they would investigate how officials handled “historic allegations of bullying” and whether changes to their human resources policies and procedures should be instigated as a result.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, attend the opening ceremony for the Invictus Games venue in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Saturday, April 16, 2022. The week-long games for active military and veterans who are sick, wounded or injured opens on Saturday in this Dutch city that calls itself the world center for peace and justice.  (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)
camera iconPrince Harry and Meghan Markle have strongly denied the allegations saying they are part of a “smear campaign”. Credit: Peter Dejong/access point

A spokesman confirmed that “if” those findings were made public, they would be included in this year’s Sovereign Grant report, the official annual review of the Queen’s public finances and the running of her household.

But announcing the report yesterday, his Master of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said of the investigation: “There is nothing about this in the report. As we said last year, this work was done privately and no Sovereign Grant money was spent.

“The review has been completed and the recommendations on our (human resources) policy and procedures have been carried forward. But we will not comment further.”

The Mail understands that although the review wrapped up several months ago, the small handful of former royal staff invited to take part only recently discovered that it had been shut down.

And they won’t be told what your findings are or what changes to HR procedures have been made as a result.

“Considering that those who participated did so at great personal and reputational risk to themselves, the fact that they haven’t even been told what the findings are is unfathomable,” a source with knowledge of the proceedings said.

“I am sure they will be deeply distressed, but perhaps not entirely surprised given the way things have been handled. The family seems to be terrified of upsetting or provoking Harry and Meghan.”

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018, file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry watch a Royal Air Force plane fly over Buckingham Palace in London.  In a surprising statement, Britain's Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, said they are planning "Back" as senior members of the royal family and "work to be financially independent." A statement released by the couple on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 also said that they intend to "balance" his time between the UK and North America.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
camera iconPrince Harry and his wife, Meghan, are no longer royals. Credit: matt dunham/access point

The issue was raised during a briefing on the Sovereign Grant which showed:

  • The Queen’s annual spending rose by 17 per cent to AUD$180 billion during 2021/22, forcing officials to dip into savings;
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now “financially independent”, and royal sources say this was “a huge credit to them”;
  • Sources said Prince Charles would never again accept suitcases full of cash following a dispute over charitable donations;
  • The most expensive royal trip last year was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s flights to the Caribbean, costing AUD$400,000;
  • Officials insisted they would keep the actual train, even though it was used just six times last year at an average cost of AUD$60,000; Property upkeep soared by AUD$25 million to AUD$112 million as the ten-year project to renovate Buckingham Palace reaches a crucial stage.

Reports of Meghan’s alleged harassment of staff surfaced just before Oprah Winfrey’s explosive interview with Prince Harry early last year.

The palace said it took such claims seriously and promised to investigate.

Prince Harry, left, and Prince William stand together during the unveiling of a commissioned statue of their mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on Thursday, July 1, 2021. ( Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP)
camera iconRelations between Prince Harry and Prince William have been icy. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/access point

However, last year the Mail established that only a small number of actual employees, both past and present, had been spoken to and that staff feared they were already being “kicked in the tall grass”.

Those interviewed included two of Meghan’s former personal assistants, another senior woman on staff and cabinet secretary Simon Case, who was then working as Prince William’s private secretary.

Asked why the report on the alleged bullying had not even been released privately, a senior royal aide said yesterday: “One has to recognize that HR matters involving people are private and the people who were involved in the review… they have a right to that confidentiality.

“Where there have been improvements that needed to be made in policies and procedures, they have been implemented. And those who participated in the review have been informed that the review is complete and contains recommendations. Due to the confidentiality of the discussions, we have not communicated detailed recommendations.”

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