Palace 'poised for new bullying complaints not related to Meghan'

Palace 'poised for new bullying complaints not related to Meghan'

March 7, 2021

Palace ‘is poised for fresh bullying complaints not related to Harry and Meghan’ amid fears Kate could be dragged into probe to give evidence

  • Ex-staff said to be debating whether to flag examples of alleged bad behaviour
  • There are reportedly at least five people ready to come forward to make claims
  • It comes as aides fear Kate Middleton could be dragged into the bullying probe
  • Duchess of Cambridge may reportedly be brought in as a witness for the probe

Buckingham Palace is poised for fresh bullying complaints but they do not relate to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, reports claim.

Former staff are said to be debating whether to flag examples of alleged bad behaviour inside the Royal Household in the last five years.

There are reportedly at least five people ready to come forward in what one insider branded ‘a can of worms’.

It comes as aides fear Kate Middleton could be dragged into Buckingham Palace’s investigation into bullying claims against the Duchess of Sussex.

Meghan is facing accusations she drove out two PAs and ‘humiliated’ staff on several occasions, with the probe reportedly focusing on a tour of Australia in 2018.

Buckingham Palace is poised for fresh bullying complaints but they do not relate to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (pictured during their Oprah interview), reports claim

Aides fear Kate Middleton (pictured in December) could be dragged into Buckingham Palace’s investigation into bullying claims against the Duchess of Sussex

Meghan is facing accusations she drove out two PAs and ‘humiliated’ staff on several occasions, with the probe reportedly focusing on a tour of Australia in 2018 (pictured)

But the latest complainants are said to not have the Duchess in their sights, with their claims focused elsewhere in the Royal Household, the Sun reports.

At least five former staffers are said to be trying to decide whether to report ‘a string of’ allegations from their time serving ‘the Firm’.

The issues are said to have been reported at the time over rows between members of staff.

One said: ‘There was a bullying culture existing among certain members of staff. But given the hierarchical structure people were scared to come forward.’

Around 10 former workers are reportedly so far prepared to take part in the Palace inquiry, which will be conducted by the human resources department.

Buckingham Palace said it was ‘very concerned’ by the bullying accusations made by former royal staff against Meghan as it launched the investigation last week.

Past and present employees have been invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for the Duchess.

On Wednesday, the Palace confirmed that its HR team will ‘look into’ the allegations, saying it ‘does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace’

Even the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall could be dragged into the fallout surrounding Meghan.

Kate’s former aides are said to be preparing to claim she saw the Duchess of Sussex’s ‘challenging behaviour’, the Mirror says.

It was previously reported the 39-year-old had stood up to defend her own employees when they were told off.

A former worker said: ‘That was just one of a catalogue of instances where Meghan spoke out of turn to staff in front of others.

‘These aren’t isolated instances and plenty of people witnessed Meghan’s challenging behaviour.’

It is now said both she and Prince Charles’s wife Camilla could be called upon to help the probe into Meghan’s alleged behaviour.

Even the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall (pictured last week) could be dragged into the fallout surrounding Meghan

The investigation is believed to be centred around a trip the Sussexes made to Australia in 2018.

The Duchess and her aides were said to have had a series of bust ups during the 16-day visit.

In one dramatic moment, it was reported Meghan’s temper boiled over with an assistant before a hot drink was spilt.

An insider told the Sun: ‘The Australia tour is one of the most important in the royal world but there have long been allegations of rows with staff.

‘If these assistants come forward it will form the centre of the Palace’s bullying probe. It was a critical time.’

Meghan also got upset when she had to stay in a wing of the Australian Governor’s property – rather than the full mansion, reports claim.

Just a month after the ‘important’ tour of Australia the Duchess’s personal assistant Melissa Toubati quit – the second in a year.

Allegations against Meghan were first reported by the Times which said Jason Knauf, the Sussexes’ then communications secretary, made a bullying complaint in October 2018 in an apparent attempt to force Buckingham Palace to protect staff.

The newspaper reported Mr Knauf sent an email outlining the Duchess’s alleged actions to Simon Case, the Duke of Cambridge’s then private secretary and now the Cabinet Secretary, after conversations with Samantha Carruthers, the head of human resources.

The bullying claims emerged in a 2018 email sent by Harry and Meghan’s press chief Jason Knauf, who now works for Prince William. This sparked an extraordinary chain of events where the Sussexes accused Buckingham Palace of smearing them. The Queen then launched an inquiry into the bullying claims

Mr Case then forwarded it to Ms Carruthers, who was based at Clarence House.

Downing Street said Boris Johnson continued to have full confidence in Simon Case, but the bullying allegations were a matter for the palace.

Mr Knauf wrote in his email: ‘I am very concerned that the duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year.

‘The treatment of X was totally unacceptable. The duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights.

‘She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y.’

Mr Knauf left a few months after making his allegations and is now a close aide to Harry’s brother, working as the chief executive of William and Kate’s Royal Foundation.

Buckingham Palace said it was ‘very concerned’ by the bullying accusations made by former royal staff against Meghan as it launched the investigation last week. 

Meghan’s spokesman said: ‘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.

‘She 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.’

Buckingham Palace and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been approached for comment on the latest claims.

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