Meghan Markle heading for ‘brutal showdown’ with Palace over ‘bullying’ probe

The Duchess of Sussex will issue a complete rebuttal of a series of allegations that she “bullied” her staff by demanding Buckingham Palace hand over a “point by point” breakdown of the claims.

Meghan, 39, has not yet been formally interviewed over claims she presided over a “toxic” work environment while at Kensington Palace, sources have revealed.

Those close to the former actress have suggested the two sides are heading for a “brutal showdown”, after two senior members of staff claimed they were bullied by Meghan during her time as a working royal.

The Mirror understands that “at least 10” former palace staffers are now “queuing up” to assist an independent inquiry set up in the wake of the claims.

The “review” of working practices being conducted by an independent law firm was launched in March.

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Meghan is set to deny all the allegations

Its findings were expected to be announced in the annual Sovereign Grant report to be published on Wednesday but the probe is “ongoing” and may even be delayed until next year.

A source close to the inquiry said: “The feeling is this is heading for a brutal showdown between the Duchess of Sussex who is understood to be disputing all allegations labelled against her.

“The Palace is taking each and every allegation very seriously and wants to get to the truth of the matter and ensure those speaking up deserve to be heard.

“But Meghan is adamant the staff were not up to their job and could not deal with the pressure of working for her and understanding how she wanted things to run.”

The latest revelation follows a series of explosive claims in a revised version of the book Battle of Brothers by respected royal author Robert Lacey.

Lacey, who provides historical assistance for Netflix show The Crown, claimed that Prince William made moves to separate his household from his brother’s after allegedly hearing of Meghan’s behaviour to royal staff.

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Meghan is adamant staff could not deal with 'the pressure' of working for her, a source says
Meghan is adamant staff could not deal with ‘the pressure’ of working for her, a source says

It was claimed Prince William made moves to separate his household from his brother's
It was claimed Prince William made moves to separate his household from his brother’s

Meghan is said to have retorted “it’s not my job to coddle people” when confronted by a senior aide over her treatment of staff that left some in tears, Lacey claims.

It added to the deep rift between the brothers which royal sources say continues to this day, despite the Princes agreeing a truce ahead of coming together next Thursday to unveil a statue at Kensington Palace of their late mother, Princess Diana.

A complaint was made in October 2018 against Meghan while she and husband Prince Harry were living at Kensington Palace.

A leaked email sent from a staff member, revealed by The Times, alleged that Meghan drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third member of staff.

Buckingham Palace said it would investigate the claims, adding that it was “very concerned” by the allegations.

The palace said it “does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment”.

Former staff have made claims against the Duchess
Former staff have made claims against the Duchess

It will speak to the members of staff involved “to see if lessons can be learned”, a statement added.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “We are clearly very concerned about allegations in the Times following claims made by former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”

“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 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.”

A spokesperson for the Duchess has previously said Meghan was the victim of a “calculated smear campaign” ahead of her tell-all interview with Harry and chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said tonight: “The review is ongoing and we would not comment while it is still underway.”

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