Inside Buckingham Palace's Response To Meghan Markle's Bullying Claims

Do you ever get tired of hearing about the royals? Us either, and right now, the drama between Meghan Markle and her in-laws is kind of giving us life. If you're not caught up, allow us to fill you in. Relations between Meghan and Prince Harry's family have always been rumored to be um... complicated. Still, things came to a head in 2020, when the Sussexes announced (supposedly without telling the queen) that they would be "stepping down" from their royal duties. Within months, they had relocated to California, signed lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify, and were reportedly on the outs with the rest of the royals.

Then, in February 2021, days after announcing they were expecting their second child, the news broke that they would not be returning to the UK and would no longer be working royals. From there, they started a mini-press tour, with Harry appearing on James Corden's The Late Late Show and owning up to watching The Crown, and Meghan announcing the most highly-anticipated interview of the year: a 90-minute sit down with Oprah Winfrey.

Insiders close to the royal family began asserting that the palace was preparing for a media backlash that would follow whatever allegations they expected the former Suits star to make. Well, things have gotten more complicated since an explosive new article about Meghan Markle's time as a working royal hit the stands. Now, the feud between the Sussexes and Buckingham Palace is more public than ever.

Meghan Markle reportedly bullied palace staff

Just days before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's highly-publicized sit down with Oprah Winfrey was scheduled to air, The Times released an explosive report about the alleged "terrible" work environment cultivated by the duchess at Kensington Palace. Former royal aides reportedly contacted the outlet hoping to paint a less sympathetic picture of Meghan than the one that is likely to be portrayed in the Sussexes' interview.

According to The Times, the couple's former communications secretary reportedly lodged a formal complaint to Buckingham Palace against Meghan in 2018, in which one aide accused her of "emotional cruelty and manipulation." Among other claims, the duchess' supposed attitude reportedly drove two staffers to quit and that she repeatedly undermined the confidence of another. The threat of incurring her alleged wrath apparently left employees "shaking," per the Daily Mail.

If the timing of this article sounds suspicious to you, you aren't alone. A spokesperson for the Sussexes called The Times piece "a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation," adding that the report coming out days before the Oprah interview was "no coincidence," according to People.

Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace originally refused comment on the situation. According to royal insiders cited by the Daily Mail, the palace was not behind the article, and the royal family was busy focusing on Prince Phillip's deteriorating health amid his hospitalization. The palace might not have wanted to address the rumors at first, but in the wake of scandalous allegations, its found itself forced to make a statement.

Buckingham Palace is taking the 'bullying' allegations seriously

After The Times article made some explosive allegations against the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Buckingham Palace broke with its usual protocol and addressed the accusations publicly. In addition to Meghan Markle being accused of engaging in workplace bullying to the extent that two PAs quit, more scandalous was the allegation that Prince Harry tried to prevent a palace worker from lodging a formal complaint against his wife, per the Daily Mail.

As reported above, a spokesperson for the Sussexes dismissed the claim as a "smear campaign" to discredit the couple before their tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview. However, Buckingham Palace is officially disputing those claims. "We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex," the palace said in a statement (via the Daily Mail). Noting that the palace planned to launch a full investigation into the matter, the statement continued, "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."

So, what's the truth? Is Meghan Markle the bully, or are Buckingham Palace and her royal in-laws bullying her? Right now, all we can do is wait... and pray that Oprah does a follow-up interview.