A Buckingham Palace investigation into the handling of bullying allegations made by staff against the Duchess of Sussex will not be published due to “confidentiality” obligations, a senior palace source has said.
The independent review was announced March 2021 to see what “lessons can be learned” after Meghan was alleged to have kicked out two personal assistants and “humiliated” staff on several occasions.
At the time, the palace said any changes to policies or procedures recommended by the review, which was carried out by an independent law firm, would be published in the annual sovereign grant accounts.
But there are no details in the accounts and officials have declined to comment except to say changes have been made to the palace’s human resources policy as a result of the review. However, they have refused to identify the changes.
The sources also did not confirm whether the Duchess herself had been interviewed as part of the process. Meghan’s lawyers denied the allegations when they were made.
A senior palace source said: “HR matters involving people are private and the people who participated in the review did so on that basis and are therefore entitled to confidentiality in relation to the discussions they had. place and what was said.
The palace was not obligated, he said, because the review was financed internally and not through public money from the sovereign grant.
Denying that the palace had moved the goalposts, the source said the targets “have been met because lessons have been learned.” Asked if Meghan was aware of the report’s findings, the source added that people who were involved in the review were told it was over, but added: “I’m not going to say who was involved.”
The reluctance to make the results public may be an effort not to further escalate tensions between the Sussexes and other members of the royal family, especially after the recent family reunion that saw Harry and Meghan fly to the UK for the platinum jubilee with their children: Archie, three; and Lilibet, one.
A royal source said the couple were now financially independent, which was “a huge credit to them”. Prince Charles’s accounts reveal that his bill for the activities of William and Harry and their families, along with other capital expenditure, was reduced by £1.2m over two years, and the Sussexes are no longer listed in the accounts. . The amount fell from £5.6m in 2019-20, when the Sussexes were still in the UK, to £4.38m when Charles no longer financed them. But it has not been detailed how much of that drop was due solely to the Sussexes leaving as royals.
Charles had a “very emotional” first meeting with his granddaughter Lilibet, and a long-awaited reunion with his grandson Archie during the jubilee. The source said of the Sussexes: “The Prince and Duchess [of Cornwall] they were absolutely thrilled to see them.
“The prince, of course, hasn’t seen his grandson Archie for a while, so it was very, very special to spend time with him. He didn’t know Lili, her granddaughter, so meeting her was very emotional. A very, very wonderful thing.”
There was little clarity in the accounts about the financial arrangements of the Sussexes in respect of Frogmore Cottage. It was announced last year that the couple had repaid £2.4m of sovereign grant money they spent to renovate the property before their wedding. A source said on Wednesday that the £2.4m the couple paid also covered their rental obligations for the property, which remains their UK home. But the source declined to comment on whether the Queen or Charles contributed or had contributed to the rent or maintenance costs, saying only that none of the sovereign grant had been paid.
Accounts for the year showed that Charles of the Duchy of Cornwall’s annual private income was £23 million. He rose by £2.6m, or almost 13%, from £20.4m in 2020-21, as the Duchy’s profits rebounded after the pandemic. He paid almost £5.9 million in taxes.
The sovereign grant increased marginally by £400,000 to £86.3 million during 2021-22. A core element of £51.8 million funds the official duties of the Queen and her household, with a further £34.5 million going to the ongoing 10-year maintenance project for Buckingham Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge controversial tour of the Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica it was the most expensive overseas trip at £226,383. Charles’s visit to Barbados to mark the country’s transition to a republic within the Commonwealth was the second most expensive at £138,457.