At least 10 ex-aides of Meghan Markle and Harry 'queuing up' to assist bullying probe
By MIRROR | 2 months ago
At least 10 royal aides who worked for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “queuing up” to assist a probe into claims Meghan bullied her staff, the Mirror can reveal.
The investigation, ordered by the Queen, will examine claims Meghan “humiliated” aides, subjecting them to “emotional cruelty and manipulation”, driving out two personal assistants.
After the Palace issued a statement announcing the probe on Wednesday, a trailer for Prince Harry and Meghan’s Oprah Winfrey interview was released yesterday showing the Duchess accusing the Queen and senior royals of “perpetuating” lies about them.
In the theatrical 30-second clip, US chat queen Oprah, 67, asks Meghan: “How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?”
Violins play in the background as actress Meghan, 39, replies: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.
She adds: “And if that comes with risk of losing things, there’s a lot that’s been lost already.”
The swipe was dismissed by Palace sources as a “circus”.
Courtiers said the Royal Family’s “sole focus” continues to be on Prince Philip, 99, as it was revealed he is recovering after “successful” heart surgery earlier this week.
Philip had the procedure for his pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, home to Barts Heart Centre, Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular service.
The Palace did not reveal details of the surgery but said Philip, who had a stent fitted in 2011, would remain in hospital for “treatment, rest and recuperation” for a number of days.
Take a survey
He may be blissfully unaware of the storm surrounding his family as former royal aides prepare to offer their help in the investigation into Meghan after being given assurances of confidentiality by the Palace.
Sources connected to the group told how those involved were all considered to be “hugely professional and proud of their efforts” while working at Kensington Palace.
One said: “A group of people are queuing up to be involved. They have been silent for too long and there is much to talk about.”
Senior royals are understood to be “dismayed” at reports that young female staff had been reduced to tears, with one aide, reportedly anticipating a confrontation with Meghan, telling a colleague: “I can’t stop shaking.”
Buckingham Palace has said it is “very concerned” by the bullying accusations, first reported in The Times.
Palace sources said the Queen was “completely right” to order the probe “in the face of new allegations”.
The aides set to become involved worked for the couple in October 2018, when a complaint against Meghan was lodged by the Sussexes’ communications secretary Jason Knauf.
Palace sources told how the issue “was investigated” at the time but the aides named in an email by Knauf “chose not to proceed with the complaint” against their boss.
One source said: “The complaint was considered and those members of staff were spoken to and given the option of taking it further.
“For whatever reason, they decided not to, possibly because they were still in their job and they were worried about the implications.”
Past and present employees are to be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for the duchess.
To fully examine the allegations, Meghan would have to be part of proceedings but it is not clear what role, if any, she will play in the process.
A source close to the Sussexes said of the Palace’s announcement of the probe on Wednesday night: “The first we heard about this was via the press – this is a whole tit-for-tat scenario.
"It’s not a complaint we haven’t heard anything but it’s very hard to know what the process is.
If this was a private company, we’ve effectively already been fired and I’m not entirely sure what any process could be.”
There has long been speculation about the atmosphere in the Sussex household, after a number of staff left.
The two-hour Oprah interview will be shown in the US on Sunday night – 1am on Monday in our time.
It will be on ITV at 9pm on Monday.
It is claimed Meghan only met Oprah once before inviting her to her wedding in May 2018.
The interview is expected to focus on her time as a working royal, before she and Harry quit last March and moved to the US.
No10 was dragged into the row after it was reported that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case was made aware of the bullying allegations against Meghan while at Kensington Palace as private secretary to Prince William, before the probe was shelved.
A source said: “Despite it not being Simon’s job, he took a firm interest in the claims and was absolutely against anyone being made to feel uncomfortable at their place of work.”
Asked if Boris Johnson was “concerned his own Cabinet Secretary might have covered up allegations of bullying”, the PM’s spokesman said: “It is a matter for the Palace.”
He said the PM had full confidence in Mr Case.
Buckingham Palace did not comment.
Despite the furore over Harry and Meghan and Prince Philip’s poor health, the Queen carried on with her duties, holding her weekly audience with the PM by phone on Wednesday.
Yesterday, she had a phone audience with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Wigston.
A Palace post said they spoke of the RAF’s “commitment to supporting the nation’s response to the pandemic”.
How to remove blackheads at home
By ESTHER MUCHENE
Six vitamin E rich foods for healthy skin and hair
By ESTHER MUCHENE
Global shortage of midwives threatens to dampen Mother’s Day celebration
By DERRICK OLUOCH
I am learning how to date my husband afresh
By CAROLINE OKELLO
Five ways to manage and prevent dry, damaged hair at home
By ESTHER MUCHENE
Harry 'knew Oprah interview would rock boat and that's what he wanted’
My leg was amputated after I was denied medical attention
By STEPHEN RUTTO
Confessions: I caught friend making drunken pass at hubby on first night out after lockdown
Six top tips for 'uncoupling' after lockdown as couples fear separation anxiety