Fears over Palace inquiry into claims Meghan Markle bullied staff

Is Meghan ‘bullying’ probe being kicked into long grass? Buckingham Palace inquiry into allegations the Duchess of Sussex bullied staff only interviews ‘a tiny handful’ of people who worked for her

  • Revelation prompted fears the investigation is being ‘kicked into the long grass’
  • Palace aides announced in March that they were launching an internal inquiry 
  • Staff were said to have been left in tears and feeling ‘traumatised’ 

A Buckingham Palace inquiry into allegations the Duchess of Sussex bullied staff has so far only interviewed ‘a tiny handful’ of people who worked for her.

The revelation has prompted fears that the investigation, set up nine months ago, is being ‘kicked into the long grass’.

Palace aides announced in March that they were launching an internal inquiry into claims Meghan’s behaviour drove two personal assistants out of the household and ‘undermined the confidence’ of a third.

Staff were said to have been left in tears and feeling ‘traumatised’.

The royal household subsequently employed a third-party law firm to probe the claims, paid for by the family privately, in a move that some predicted could increase tensions between Harry and Meghan and ‘the institution’.

The allegations are strongly denied by the duchess, whose lawyers described them at the time as a ‘calculated smear campaign’.

A Buckingham Palace inquiry into allegations the Duchess of Sussex bullied staff has so far only interviewed ‘a tiny handful’ of people who worked for her

But the Daily Mail has now established that only a small number of royal employees – both past and present – have actually been spoken to.

These are likely to include the two PAs, another staff member and possibly Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who was then working as Prince William’s private secretary.

Mr Case was sent an email in October 2018 by Kensington Palace’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf, raising concern about Meghan’s behaviour and trying to get protection for the staff he believed were being targeted.

The Sussexes would, on average, have had around 15 employees working for them at any one time – with up to 25 over the course of Meghan’s brief time in the Royal Family between 2017 and 2020. 

But there is such a wall of silence around the entire probe, on the orders of the Queen’s ultra-cautious private secretary Sir Edward Young, that no one within the household has been told whether it is even still ongoing.

Part of the problem is that the Palace has never before had to deal with an official bullying complaint against a member of the royal family – effectively an employer – and so has no precedent on which to act. 

The Daily Mail has now established that only a small number of royal employees – both past and present – have actually been spoken to. These are likely to include the two PAs, another staff member and possibly Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who was then working as Prince William’s private secretary

The revelation has prompted fears that the investigation, set up nine months ago, is being ‘kicked into the long grass’

And with such a narrow scope of inquiry, sources ask what the investigation will actually achieve.

One told the Mail: ‘I think they [the Palace] are slightly caught between a rock and a hard place on this…

‘There are obviously serious questions to be asked as to how the original complaints about bullying made against the duchess were handled internally.’ 

They added: ‘From what anyone hears, interviews have only taken place with a handful of people. It’s been far from comprehensive.’

Appearing on a BBC documentary last week, the duchess’s lawyer Jenny Afia of Schillings said she believed there were ‘massive inaccuracies’ in the claims

Buckingham Palace refused to comment on any aspect of the investigation this week. It had previously said that the inquiry should ‘not be played out in public’ and would ‘take as long as it will take’.

The Sussexes were not expected to be invited to take part in the probe – despite having written to the Palace about it.

Appearing on a BBC documentary last week, the duchess’s lawyer Jenny Afia of Schillings said she believed there were ‘massive inaccuracies’ in the claims.

Miss Afia did not respond to a request for comment this week.

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