Buckingham Palace released a statement in response to claims Meghan Markle bullied two staff members before stepping down from her royal duties in 2020.
The royal household said on Wednesday, March 3, it was looking into the accusations and detailed its workplace policy.
“We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the statement, released via social media, began. “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 statement from Buckingham Palace continued: “The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.”
Allegations of mistreatment stem from a report in The Times published on Tuesday, March 2. The newspaper said its staff was approached by royal palace aides who claimed that one of the 39-year-old Suits alum’s former advisers had filed a bullying complaint against her as she and Prince Harry, 36, were leaving Kensington Palace.
According to the outlet, the couple’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf, then filed a complaint with Prince William‘s private secretary alleging that Meghan drove two personal assistants to leave the household and was having an effect on the confidence of another staffer. The Times claimed that employees were sometimes left in tears. One aide allegedly told a coworker they could not “stop shaking” amid anticipation over a confrontation with the California native.
Meghan and Harry’s communications team denied the allegation in a statement to The Times.
“Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,” the statement read. “We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet.”
“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,” her rep said.
The spokesperson added that Meghan “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.”
Harry and Meghan, who married in May 2018, stepped back from their royal duties in March 2020 and confirmed last month that they would not return as working royals after moving to the U.S.