Meghan 'saddened' by bullying complaint report

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The Duchess of Sussex is "saddened" by a report she faced a bullying complaint during her time at Kensington Palace, her spokesman has said.

The Times newspaper says Meghan allegedly drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third member of staff.

Meghan's spokesman said it was the "latest attack on her character".

It comes before Meghan and Prince Harry's TV interview with Oprah Winfrey is due to be aired in the UK on Monday.

The duchess lived at Kensington Palace for nearly a year after her marriage to Prince Harry in May 2018.

According to the story in the Times, the complaint was made in October 2018.

Buckingham Palace, which is responsible for the hiring of royal staff, has not commented on the report. Kensington Palace has been contacted for a comment.

A statement issued by 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."

On one thing everyone is agreed: the interview that Meghan has given Oprah Winfrey, and that will be broadcast in the US on Sunday, is concentrating minds.

Palace staff have for some time itched to get their side of the story out; some feel that they went out of their way to help Meghan after the wedding only to be treated rudely or later dismissed as uncaring or worse.

Team Sussex were braced for the story. "It's a fairly extensive list of things that has been pulled together," one source told the BBC. "The timing is not coincidental."

Meghan's side do not dispute the existence or content of the email; and it is pretty strong stuff. It makes flesh the rumours and allegations that swirled around the duchess when a number of staff left some months after the 2018 wedding.

But the duchess' people are pushing back. The people named in the leaked email knew nothing about the complaint, they say, and it never turned into a formal issue.

Whatever the truth, it ratchets up the tension - and publicity - around the interview to come in just a few days time.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit their roles as senior working royals in March 2020, and now live in California.

Last month Buckingham Palace announced the couple would not return as working members of the Royal Family.

image copyrightHarpo Productions/Joe Pugliese
image captionOprah Winfrey's interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will air in the US on Sunday

The two-hour interview with Meghan and Prince Harry will be screened on CBS in the US on the evening of Sunday 7 March, and on ITV in the UK at 21:00 GMT on Monday 8 March.

CBS has said Meghan will be interviewed about "stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood" and "how she is handling life under intense public pressure".

She will then be joined by Prince Harry, and the couple will speak about their move to the United States last year and their future plans.

The Duke of Sussex drew parallels between the treatment of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, in a trailer clip for the interview.

Harry said he feared history was "repeating itself" before he and Meghan decided to step back as senior royals.

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