Meghan claims she was ‘stopped by Palace aides’ from talking to Oprah Winfrey


Full transcript for forth Oprah preview video clip 

  • Oprah: ‘So I just want to say that I called you either February or March 2018 before the wedding, asking would you please give me an interview, and you said I’m sorry, it’s not the right time, and finally we get to sit down and have this conversation.’
  • Meghan: ‘Well, I remember that conversation very well. I wasn’t even allowed to have this conversation with you personally, right? There had to be people from the… sitting there, everything was…
  • Oprah: ‘There were other people in the room when I was having that conversation.’
  • Meghan: ‘Yeah, even on that call.’
  • Oprah: ‘You turned me down nicely and said, perhaps there will be another time when there’s the right time. What is right about this time?’
  • Meghan: ‘Um [long pause]. Well, so many things. Um, that we’re on the other side of a lot of – a lot of life experience that’s happened, and also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make. So as an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes, I’m ready to talk.’
  • Oprah: ‘And to say it for yourself.’
  • Meghan: ‘Yeah. To say it for yourself.’
  • Oprah: ‘And not to have to consult with anybody at this point.’
  • Meghan: ‘Yeah, to be able to just make a choice your own and be able to speak for yourself.’

The Duchess of Sussex has claimed royal aides blocked her from having a personal conversation with Oprah Winfrey in the months leading up to her wedding to Prince Harry, in the latest preview clip released by CBS two days before the bombshell interview comes out.

Oprah revealed she called Meghan in February or March 2018 – two or three months before her wedding at Windsor Castle in May that year – to ask for an interview, but she declined because it was not ‘the right time’. 

The Duchess said she remembered this talk with the US chat show queen ‘very well’ and ‘wasn’t even allowed to have this conversation with you personally’ because there had to be other people in the same room.

Asked why she was now speaking out, Meghan gave a long pause and seemed to hesitate, before saying: ‘Well, so many things. That we’re on the other side of a lot of – a lot of life experience that’s happened, and also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then.’

The Duchess added: ‘That wasn’t my choice to make. So as an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes, I’m ready to talk.’

Oprah said Meghan was now ready to ‘say it for yourself’, which the Duchess agreed with, adding that she now did ‘not to have to consult with anybody at this point’. Meghan added: ‘Yeah, to be able to just make a choice your own and be able to speak for yourself.’

CBS will show the full two-hour chat on Sunday night at 1am UK time, before ITV broadcasts it the following evening, on Monday, from 9pm, despite Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip still recovering from heart surgery at hospital in London. The Duke was today moved back to King Edward VII Hospital after an operation at St Bartholomew’s Hospital on Wednesday.

A fourth clip from the Oprah chat, filmed in California last month, was today on the breakfast show CBS This Morning. The release follows two clips which came out together in the first preview on Monday, and a third which was issued in the second preview yesterday.

Ahead of its release at about 1pm UK time (8am Eastern Time), CBS presenter Gayle King, who is good friends with Oprah, had tweeted: ‘Two days and counting till Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry… This morning we have an EXCLUSIVE preview.’

Trailing the new clip at the top of the programme today, the presenters said: ‘In an exclusive clip from Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Harry, Meghan talks about why they’re speaking out now and we’ll show the growing backlash from England and how the Royal Family is preparing for the interview.’ They then added: ‘In Oprah Winfrey’s exclusive interview, Prince Harry’s wife Meghan accuses the Palace of spreading lies about them.’

While CBS was broadcasting, the @RoyalFamily Twitter account quoted a post about how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had spoken to a family whose lives were changed by a message to a mental health support service. 

Yesterday’s CBS clip from the upcoming interview saw Oprah ask Meghan: ‘How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?’ Meghan replied: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And, if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, I … there is a lot that has been lost already.’

The first of two clips released on Monday saw Oprah ask Meghan: ‘Were you silent or were you silenced?’. Oprah added: ‘I just want to make it clear to everybody that there is no subject that is off limits’. Two further sections of that clip saw Oprah say the phrases ‘almost unsurvivable’ and ‘sounds like there was a breaking point’. 

That same clip also featured Harry saying: ‘My biggest concern was history repeating itself’ – and two further snippets of Oprah saying: ‘You’ve said some pretty shocking things here’, and ‘Wait, hold, hold up, wait a minute.’

The second clip released on Monday saw Harry say: ‘For me, I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her (my mother Princess Diana) going through this process by herself all those years ago, because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us. But at least we have each other.’

The programme will be broadcast in more than 70 countries – including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, about 40 nations in sub-Saharan Africa and even Iceland – in deals experts say will be worth ‘a king’s ransom’.

More countries will be announced in the coming days under arrangements that could earn tens of millions of pounds for CBS. The Sussexes are not being paid for the chat and will not receive a slice of the syndication profits.

CBS is said to be charging advertisers £150,000 for a 30-second slot. PR insider Mark Borkowski said: ‘With 70 countries, a conservative estimate is that this is going to make tens of millions. I can’t see anything less than that.

‘You’re looking at a king’s ransom and it’s going to be a massive payday for CBS. The last event on a scale like this was probably Meghan’s own wedding. If it had been outside of Covid and the ravages of that on the ad industry it might have been a bigger deal, but it’s still going to be a huge piece of content to have.’ 

A source close to the couple said of the timing: ‘There are a lot of people who are going to talk about this until the programme airs, but the programming and all the rest of it is ultimately up to CBS. We’re not involved in that side of things. As it stands, I don’t think there is any intention from the programme maker to change its air date.’

Tory MP Bob Blackman said: ‘To be doing a tell-all interview screened in the UK when Philip is in hospital… they are badly advised, to put it mildly. None of these royal interviews have gone well and I can’t see this going any better.’

It comes as a palace insider claimed Meghan Markle blamed the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles for leaking negative stories about her to the Press when she was a senior royal.

The Sussexes felt the stories – including Kate allegedly being left in tears after a bridesmaids’ dress fitting before Meghan’s wedding in 2018 – must have been briefed by Kate, Camilla or Charles’s households, the source said.  

Their revelations came just days after Meghan was accused of ‘driving out’ two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of palace staff – with one former aide branding Prince Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies’.

Meghan has vehemently denied the claims, instead insisting the newspaper was ‘being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative’ about her. The palace said it would launch an unprecedented inquiry into the allegations – calling claims that the Meghan inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on underlings ‘very’ concerning. 

A group of at least ten ‘hugely professional’ royal aides who are ‘proud of their efforts’ are ‘queuing up’ to help the palace’s probe, reports suggest. A source told The Times that the palace were not ‘peddling disinformation or conducting any kind of campaign ahead of the interview’ – with the allegations ‘clearly not […] coming from us’. 

Allegations about Meghan and Harry’s time as senior royals came as: 

  • Buckingham Palace is ‘very concerned’ about claims Meghan mistreated staff and allegations some were forced out and others left ‘shaking’ and sobbing because of her alleged ’emotional cruelty and manipulation’;
  • An insider scotched hopes the Sussexes could one day return for royal events such as Trooping the Colour;
  • New claims that Meghan ‘hissed’ at staff and reduced one aide to tears on a royal tour emerged;
  • Lawyers for the Sussexes have vehemently denied they have bullied or mistreated staff; 
  • The Metropolitan Police says it will not open a criminal investigation into claims BBC journalist Martin Bashir conned Harry’s mother Princess Diana into the infamous 1995 Panorama interview.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex allegedly thought the households of the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales were leaking negative stories about them to the press.

Meghan and Harry’s bombshell tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey (pictured) will be aired first in the US on Sunday night

CBS is said to be charging advertisers £150,000 for a 30-second slot on the interview with the Duchess of Sussex

CBS is said to be charging advertisers £150,000 for a 30-second slot on the interview with the Duchess of Sussex

The tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey was filmed at a location in California last month and will be shown in the US on Sunday

The tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey was filmed at a location in California last month and will be shown in the US on Sunday

CBS is set to broadcast the full two-hour chat on Sunday night at 1am UK time, before ITV shows it the following evening

CBS is set to broadcast the full two-hour chat on Sunday night at 1am UK time, before ITV shows it the following evening

CBS broadcaster Gayle King

Ahead of its release, CBS presenter Gayle King, who is good friends with Oprah, tweeted: 'Two days and counting till Oprah's interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry... This morning we have an EXCLUSIVE preview'

Ahead of its release, CBS presenter Gayle King (left), who is good friends with Oprah, tweeted (right): ‘Two days and counting till Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry… This morning we have an EXCLUSIVE preview’

One story involved Harry reportedly shouting at the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly during an incident involving Meghan’s wedding tiara. Reports later implied the disagreement was about arrangements for a fitting. 

The insider also said Harry and Meghan ‘assumed that the men in grey suits were obsessed with destroying them’ while in Kensington Palace.  

Harry and Meghan ‘insist they MUST be involved’ in any ‘formal’ bullying probe but Palace says couple will NOT be asked because it’s an ‘internal HR review’ – as ‘up to 12 Royal staff line up to give evidence’ 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have insisted they should be involved in any ‘formal’ investigation over allegations that they bullied their staff, a source has claimed.

The probe, which is currently being billed as an ‘internal review’ by human resources, could hear evidence from up to 12 ten royal aides who worked for the couple.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not yet been contacted about the probe, which will be led by a human resources manager from the Royal Household.

Past and present staff will be invited to speak about their experiences, with the aim to improve human resources policies at the palace and see if lessons can be learnt.

However a palace aide told the Daily Telegraph that the Sussexes are unlikely to be involved or even told about the process, which has been labelled an ‘internal review’.

And a source close to Harry and Meghan said the couple, who now live in Montecito, California, had not been told about the probe and knew nothing of its scope.

The source said: ‘If it was an investigation into them, of some description, there would have to be a formal process where we would have to be involved. A formal HR investigation involves formal accusations.’

The investigation may not release its findings until next year, with royal sources saying there is no set no timeframe after the explosive allegations were made.

There could be as many as eight to 12 people wishing to give evidence, although it has not yet been confirmed who any of them may be.

Sources connected to a group of aides ready to give evidence told the Daily Mirror how there were ten former Kensington Palace staff who want to be involved.

The Sussexes strongly deny the accusations of wrongdoing.

One royal source said up to ten people wanted to assist, adding: ‘A group of people are queuing up to be involved. They have been silent for too long and there is much to talk about.’

The review is likely to focus on a specific time frame and give staff a chance to talk about their experiences of working with the Sussexes, reported the Telegraph.

Royal sources also stressed that any changes to workplace practices as a result of the probe would be made public in their annual Sovereign Grant report.

However they cannot yet say whether it will be in this year’s review or the next. 

The latest claims about Meghan and Harry’s time as working royals follows Buckingham Palace’s announcement that it would launch an unprecedented inquiry into accusations that the Sussexes bullied their staff – leaving royal employees ‘shaken’ by ‘unhappy memories’ being brought up about a ‘toxic period’. 

The allegations claimed officials were aware of the purported actions of the duchess – but did ‘absolutely nothing to protect people’. 

A group of more than ten royal aides are ‘queuing up’ to help the palace’s inquiries, reports suggest.

A source told The Mirror: ‘A group of people are queuing up to be involved. They have been silent for too long and there is much to talk about.’ 

The palace did not warn Meghan and Harry prior to announcing their probe – which the couple will not be a part of since they relinquished position as working members of the family, The Daily Telegraph reports. 

They still hope to be kept up to speed with what the investigation will entail and want to be informed if formal bullying accusations emerge.

A source close to the Sussexes said: ‘If it was an investigation into them, of some description, there would have to be a formal process where we would have to be involved. 

‘A formal HR investigation involves formal accusations.’

Staff will be able to bring up specific conflicts, but the review will mostly focus on how complaints were handled, a palace insider said. 

ITV has faced furious backlash at its decision to push ahead with broadcasting the bombshell Oprah interview while Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather Prince Philip recovers from heart surgery in hospital – where he is set to remain ‘for a number of days’. 

The channel yesterday released its first branded clip of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Miss Winfrey which featured the same footage put out by CBS in the early hours of Thursday morning – but this time with ITV’s branding in the corner.

The video clip from Meghan and Harry’s interview – which has been licensed by CBS owner ViacomCBS to be shown in 66 countries in addition to Britain and the US – saw the Duchess say she could not be expected to stay silent if the royal family played a part in ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Prince Harry. 

Yesterday’s clip was in an updated press release – which had first been issued with words only at 12pm on Wednesday – with ITV confirming in a tweet: ‘Oprah With Meghan and Harry broadcasts at 9pm on Monday, March 8 on ITV.’

The interview will first be shown by CBS in the US at 1am UK time on Sunday night. Meanwhile Buckingham Palace said at 1pm yesterday that a special Commonwealth programme would be aired just hours beforehand on the BBC.

The Queen and the royal family have turned their attention to the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic for the show which will be on BBC One in the UK and globally on the BBC’s YouTube channel from 5pm on Sunday. 

Ahead of Harry and Meghan’s sit-down, the Queen, in an audio message, will pay tribute to the way in which communities across the ‘family of nations’ have ‘come together’ in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Buckingham Palace, which is bracing itself for dramatic revelations from the Sussexes on Sunday night, said the one-hour programme will also celebrate ‘Her Majesty’s lifetime commitment to the Commonwealth’. 

The Queen, who has reigned for nearly 70 years, is Head of the Commonwealth – a voluntary association of 54 nations. 

Harry and Meghan were accused of being disrespectful to the monarch’s life of duty when their Megxit departure was finalised two weeks ago, with their camp saying: ‘We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.’  

ITV released a trailer at 4pm yesterday ahead of the two-hour show next Monday, which featured the same footage released by CBS in the early hours of Thursday morning - but this time with ITV's branding in the corner (bottom right)

ITV released a trailer at 4pm yesterday ahead of the two-hour show next Monday, which featured the same footage released by CBS in the early hours of Thursday morning – but this time with ITV’s branding in the corner (bottom right)

Meghan (pictured during her wedding) was accused of 'driving out' two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff - with one former aide branding Prince Harry and his wife 'outrageous bullies' this week

Meghan (pictured during her wedding) was accused of ‘driving out’ two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff – with one former aide branding Prince Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies’ this week

Commonwealth Day in 2020 was the scene of Harry and Meghan’s final official public engagement last year. The 2021 service was cancelled for the first time in nearly half a century, because of the pandemic

Meghan Markle blamed the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles for leaking stories about her to the Press when she was a senior royal, a source has claimed. Pictured: Kate and Meghan at Wimbledon in July 2019

Meghan Markle blamed the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles for leaking stories about her to the Press when she was a senior royal, a source has claimed. Pictured: Kate and Meghan at Wimbledon in July 2019

Buckingham Palace yesterday confirmed that the BBC would be showing a Commonwealth Day special on Sunday at 5pm

Buckingham Palace yesterday confirmed that the BBC would be showing a Commonwealth Day special on Sunday at 5pm

ITV published a video from the Harry and Meghan interview at 4pm yesterday

Buckingham Palace issued a press release about the Commonwealth service

ITV published a video from the Harry and Meghan interview at 4pm yesterday (left), three hours after Buckingham Palace issued a press release about the Commonwealth service on BBC One at 1pm (right)

But the Sussexes’ relatives have joined forces to appear in the Commonwealth tribute this weekend. The Prince of Wales recorded a message addressing ‘the universal devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic’, and celebrating critical work to combat climate change. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also taken part.

The show has been licensed to be shown in scores of countries in addition to the UK, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland, and also including 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa

The show has been licensed to be shown in scores of countries in addition to the UK, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland, and also including 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa

William and Kate will be seen speaking to medical, charity and voluntary staff from across the Commonwealth and hearing about how they have adapted their efforts in response to the pandemic. 

The Duchess of Cornwall has chatted to presenter Clare Balding about the importance of books and reading for children in the Commonwealth.

To mark Commonwealth Day and International Women’s Day, Sophie, Countess of Wessex has spoken to three women from the Commonwealth about their experiences of supporting other women and their communities.

The programme replaces the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey – which was the scene of Harry and Meghan’s final official public engagement last year. 

The 2021 service was cancelled for the first time in nearly half a century, because of the pandemic.

Harry and Meghan, who quit last year as senior working royals and moved to the US, were hailed as the new royal stars of the Commonwealth ahead of their wedding, having pledged themselves to a lifetime of work with the family of nations in their engagement interview. 

But the couple have now been accused of being disrespectful to the Queen and her husband after it emerged they won’t delay the release of their Oprah interview despite Philip’s health problems.  

The Sussexes are under huge pressure to ask Oprah to delay the broadcast in the US on Sunday night and across the world on Monday after it was revealed Prince Philip underwent heart surgery. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex felt negative stories about them - including Kate allegedly being left in tears following a bridesmaids' dress fitting before Meghan's 2018 wedding (pictured) - must have been briefed by Kate, Camilla or Charles' households, the Palace insider said. Pictured: Kate and Jessica Mulroney (left) hold bridesmaids' hands at the wedding

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex felt negative stories about them – including Kate allegedly being left in tears following a bridesmaids’ dress fitting before Meghan’s 2018 wedding (pictured) – must have been briefed by Kate, Camilla or Charles’ households, the Palace insider said. Pictured: Kate and Jessica Mulroney (left) hold bridesmaids’ hands at the wedding

The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured during the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at Windsor Castle on July 22 last year

The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured during the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at Windsor Castle on July 22 last year

Meghan Markle spoke to Oprah Winfrey for the interview, which will air on Sunday

Winfrey asks Markle whether she had contemplated what the reaction would be from Buckingham Palace to the interview

Meghan Markle spoke to Oprah Winfrey for the interview, which will air on Sunday, and is asked whether she had contemplated what the reaction would be from Buckingham Palace to the interview

Critics including several MPs have warned them they are ‘badly advised’ to go along with the plan – but the couple insist that it is up to CBS, who don’t have ‘any intention’ to delay the show set to make them millions of dollars in sales and advertising revenue. 

The royal aides at the centre of palace intrigue

Melissa Touabti (right) is pictured with Robbie Williams' wife Ayda for whom she previously worked

Melissa Touabti (right) is pictured with Robbie Williams’ wife Ayda for whom she previously worked

PA WHO QUIT AFTER WEDDING:

Melissa Touabti, the duchess’s former personal assistant, had previously worked for Robbie Williams and Madonna.

She played a key role in preparations for Meghan and Harry’s wedding in May 2018, but quit after just six months.

The Frenchwoman, 41, took a job with the billionaire Livingstone family – owners of the stately home Cliveden. 

THE AMERICAN SPIN DOCTOR:

Jason Knauf joined the royals in 2014, having acted as a ‘crisis management expert’ at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The 36- year-old American, who completed his master’s at the London School of Economics, served as communications secretary to the ‘Fab Four’ of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan before the Cambridges and Sussexes created separate offices in March 2019.

Mr Knauf now heads William and Kate’s charitable foundation. 

THE AMERICAN SPIN DOCTOR: Jason Knauf (left) walks behind the couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto

THE AMERICAN SPIN DOCTOR: Jason Knauf (left) walks behind the couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto 

Simon Case in Dundee in 2019

Simon Case in Dundee in 2019 

THE WHIZ-KID WHO RUNS WHITEHALL: 

Simon Case became the youngest head of the civil service for over a century when he took the post at the tender age of 41.

The Cambridge history graduate – a noted fan of tweed suits and Barbour jackets – had previously been the principal private secretary to successive Tory prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May. He also worked at spying centre GCHQ as a ‘director of strategy’.

His most recent role before becoming Cabinet Secretary last year was serving as private secretary to Prince William.

THE TOUGH TALKING AUSTRALIAN: 

Formerly the Queen’s assistant private secretary, Samantha Cohen had planned to quit Buckingham Palace in 2018. Instead, she agreed to stay on and help the duchess through her first months in the Royal Family.

The well-liked but tough-talking Australian became the Sussexes’ private secretary, but left in 2019 to work for the environmental charity Cool Earth. 

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II (accompanied by Samantha Cohen) attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II (accompanied by Samantha Cohen) attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England 

THE PRINCES’ HR HEAD HONCHO: 

Experienced human resources director Samantha Carruthers worked for De Beers and investment bank Lazard before joining the royals.

Head of HR for Prince Charles and Prince William until 2019, she is now deputy chairman of the board of trustees for child bereavement charity Winston’s Wish. 

Samantha Carruthers worked for De Beers and investment bank Lazard before joining the royal

Samantha Carruthers worked for De Beers and investment bank Lazard before joining the royal 

A source close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex yesterday confirmed that the screening on Sunday is still expected to go ahead, claiming the decision now lies with the broadcasters set to make millions from the two-hour show.

‘There are a lot of people who are going to talk about this until the programme airs, but the programming and all the rest of it is ultimately up to CBS, we’re not involved in that side of things’, the source said, adding: ‘As it stands, I don’t think there is any intention from the programme maker to change its air date’. 

But there is growing anger over the broadcast, with royal experts, fans and politicians calling for a postponement. Conservative MP Bob Blackman told MailOnline yesterday: ‘The reality is I don’t think the interview is appropriate at all. 

‘The less they say the better, irrespective of the state of health of the Duke of Edinburgh. But to be doing a tell-all interview screened in the UK when he is in hospital – fortunately he appears to have had a successful operation – they are badly advised to put it mildly. None of these royal interviews have gone well… and I can’t see this going any better.’ 

Mr Blackman said ITV has ‘got a choice to make’. ‘I don’t think they should be showing it,’ he said. ‘Everyone’s sympathies should be for the Queen, a remarkable lady who has given a lifetime of service.’ 

Another Tory MP, who did not want to be named, said of Harry and Meghan: ‘One day I hope those two discover what it is really like to have problems.’

Deals have been struck across the globe for the rights to broadcast the Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview, ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group said.

The show has been licensed to be shown in scores of countries in addition to the UK, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland, and also including 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, after its US premiere on Sunday. 

CBS Presents Oprah With Meghan And Harry will be screened on networks including Australia’s Network 10 and Canada’s Global TV. It will also be on RTE2 in Ireland, RTL in Germany and Croatia and Sky Italia-TV8 in Italy.

The row over the timing of the broadcast came hours after Meghan accused the royal family of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry in their interview with Oprah in a new teaser clip released just hours after Buckingham Palace launched a probe into her alleged bullying of staff. 

Ramping up her war of words with the royals, the Duchess of Sussex calls her husband’s family ‘The Firm’ in the 30-second trailer released by CBS and blames them for speaking out in a show set to be watched by millions around the globe.

In a clip set to dramatic music, Ms Winfrey asks her: ‘How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?’ 

An emotional Meghan replies: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us’.

The Duchess adds: ‘And, if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.’

It is not known what ‘falsehoods’ Meghan is talking about because the interview was recorded before she was accused of ‘driving out’ two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff – with one former aide branding Prince Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies’ in The Times earlier this week. 

It was business as usual for the Queen today, who held a telephone audience this afternoon with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Wigston. Her Majesty heard about the RAF’s ‘commitment to supporting the nation’s response to the pandemic’, Buckingham Palace said. 

Hours after she made the claims, Buckingham Palace revealed the Duke of Edinburgh has undergone a ‘successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition’ and will remain in hospital for ‘treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days’.  

Philip, 99, had the operation at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London, where he was transferred to on Monday after spending 14 days at King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone due to an infection. 

Harry’s grandfather’s ill health will again increase calls for the couple to postpone its broadcast on CBS in the US on Sunday and on ITV1 in the UK on Monday.  

And last night the Queen launched an unprecedented inquiry into allegations that the couple bullied their staff and devastating claims that the Duchess of Sussex inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on aides who accuse her of playing the victim. 

Yesterday new claims emerged that royal staff say they are members of the ‘Sussex Survivors’ Club’ after working for the couple, with some claiming they have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety because of their treatment by Harry and Meghan. 

And senior palace sources said aides are ‘incandescent’ the Sussexes claimed they were orchestrating a ‘smear campaign’ against the Duchess.

One told the Mirror: ‘It is totally disingenuous, frankly ludicrous and wholly untrue to suggest anyone at the Palace has been peddling disinformation and has been briefing on these matters. There are far, far more important things going on right now than the circus surrounding a media appearance’.

Meghan Markle will talk about her experience of race issues in Britain during her interview with Oprah Winfrey.

And in dramatic promotional clips released on Monday, Miss Winfrey is seen asking Meghan if she was ‘silent or silenced’, with the duchess’ answer not revealed.

In response to a comment by the duchess, the presenter says: ‘Almost unsurvivable. Sounds like there was a breaking point?’

At one point in the trailer, Miss Winfrey tells viewers: ‘Just to make it clear to everybody, there is no subject that is off-limits,’ as Meghan nods in agreement.

The clip then cuts to Harry, 36, in a grey suit and white shirt with no tie, as he says: ‘My biggest fear was history repeating itself.’

The teaser then shows Harry and Meghan sitting side by side holding hands as Miss Winfrey says: ‘You have said some pretty shocking things here’.

In a second clip, also set to dramatic music, Prince Harry compares his mother’s situation to the one he says he and Meghan found themselves in. As he speaks, a picture is shown of him with his mother when he was a little boy.

Meghan suggests she has no fears about losing her royal privileges by speaking out, claiming: 'If that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already'

Meghan suggests she has no fears about losing her royal privileges by speaking out, claiming: ‘If that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already’

Meghan Markle wore a pair of striking diamond earrings that were allegedly a wedding gift from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. She is pictured wearing them at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Fiji, on October 23, 2018, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Meghan Markle wore a pair of striking diamond earrings that were allegedly a wedding gift from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. She is pictured wearing them at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Fiji, on October 23, 2018, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

A bullying complaint was lodged against the Duchess of Sussex by a senior member of Kensington Palace staff before she and Prince Harry quit as working royals, it was dramatically claimed on Tuesday

A bullying complaint was lodged against the Duchess of Sussex by a senior member of Kensington Palace staff before she and Prince Harry quit as working royals, it was dramatically claimed on Tuesday

‘For me, I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us. But at least we have each other,’ he says.

Team Meghan leap to her defence: Duchess’s former ‘Suits’ colleague leads fight back against bullying claims – as row goes transatlantic with US fans siding with LA couple while Britons back Queen

Meghan Markle’s American friends have orchestrated a fightback today as the Sussexes’ row with Buckingham Palace caused a transatlantic fissure that could damage the Queen’s popularity in the United States and saw the Duchess’ allies repeatedly compare her to Harry’s mother Princess Diana.

Meghan’s supporters in the media as well as colleagues from her time on Suits have backed her with the show’s executive producer Jon Cowan calling her a ‘warm, kind, caring person’ who has been thrust into an ‘unimaginable world’ and deserves the ‘benefit of the doubt’. 

And in an extraordinary move a source close to the former actress even accused Prince William’s wife Kate, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla of leaking stories about her to the press. 

Royal experts believe that while many in Britain are siding with Harry’s family and are upset the Oprah interview is going ahead with Prince Philip in hospital after heart surgery, support in the US is swinging behind the Sussexes thanks to ‘Team Meghan’.

Her biographer and friend Omid Scobie has claimed the dramatic fallout with Harry’s family has been fuelled by racism, while a number of Meghan’s closest friends have rushed to deny she is a bully, with Lindsay Jill Roth, who had Meghan as her maid of honour, insisting ‘goodwill runs in her bones’.

And Meghan’s make-up artist pal Daniel Martin has posted a defiant poem in defence of the Duchess amid the bombshell claims she forced out members of staff at Kensington Palace and inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on others. One worker called the couple ‘outrageous bullies’.

Meghan and Harry are involved in a war of words with Buckingham Palace after Ms Markle accused ‘The Firm’ – a mafia-like term used the describe the Royal Family – of smearing them and peddling ‘a wholly false narrative based on misleading and harmful misinformation’. 

Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent Katie Nicholl said today: ‘Many Americans are now ‘Team Meghan’ and this does pose a big problem for the Royal Family. They’re hugely popular in the US but you hear a lot of Americans saying ‘this is a takedown’.’

She added: ‘This is being seen as a war between the Palace and the Sussexes ahead of what could be the most explosive royal interview wince Princess Diana sat down with Martin Bashir. This is potentially a big crisis for the royal family’.

British royal experts and fans have widely condemned Harry and Meghan’s decision to do the interview, accusing them of being disrespectful to the Queen and her unwell 99-year-old husband.

But last night on the ABC debate show ‘The View’ in America, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, broadcaster Sarah Haines declared: ‘I don’t hear anything about investigations that don’t involve Prince Andrew and his connections with Jeffrey Epstein’.

Commentator Joy Behar compared the palace’s reaction to the ‘off with your head’ policy of Henry VIII, and added: ‘They [the palace] will just make your life miserable – you’d better toe the line. Look what happened to Diana, same thing, same thing. They do not like it when you go up against them. As far as Andrew is concerned, he is their boy, he is their boy. This girl is not blood’. While  Meghan McCain said: ‘It’s a very obvious oppo-dump on Meghan Markle, and one of the things she’s being accused of in her abuse is emailing staffers early in the morning. So I think that’s obviously ridiculous on a lot of different levels’.

But other experts say the Palace must be able to have its say. Sunday Times Royal Correspondent Roya Nikkhah told CBS: ‘I think the feeling is that that it can’t be right for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to sit down with Oprah and say that piece and not let people who know them and work with them to say their piece’.

Yesterday’s clip with Meghan’s views on ‘The Firm’ came as Buckingham Palace announced they will launch an investigation into allegations that Markle bullied royal aides.  

And a royal insider scotched hopes they could one day return for royal events such as Trooping the Colour, saying: ‘I can’t ever see those two back on the balcony.’

Buckingham Palace has released more details about how the royal family will celebrate the Commonwealth in a special programme to be screened just hours before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Oprah interview in the US.

The palace said: ‘In Her Majesty’s annual Commonwealth Day message, the Queen will pay tribute to the way in which communities across the family of nations have come together in response to the pandemic.’

A Celebration for Commonwealth Day will be broadcast on BBC One at 5pm on Sunday March 7 – a few hours before Meghan and Harry’s sit-down with Oprah is shown.

The Prince of Wales has recorded a message for the programme addressing ‘the universal devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic’.

Prince Charles will also celebrate the ‘critical work’ being carried out by nations across the Commonwealth to combat climate change and protect its unique landscapes, marine environments and biodiversity.

Harry and his wife were both labelled ‘outrageous bullies’, according to sensational claims.

‘Broken’ royal aides told of feeling humiliated, ‘sick’, ‘terrified’, left ‘shaking’ with fear, and being reduced to tears by the duchess.

The Duchess of Sussex is accused of ‘driving out’ two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff – with one former aide branding Prince Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies’ in The Times on Wednesday.

It also claimed the monarchy’s ‘men in gray suits’ were aware of the purported actions of the duchess – but did ‘absolutely nothing to protect people’. 

Meghan has denied the allegations and accused the newspaper of being ‘used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative’ about her. 

Royal officials initially refused to comment, with sources telling MailOnline that aides and senior family members are focused on Prince Philip’s health problems in hospital.

But on Wednesday night, 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’.

A spokesman 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 royal source told the Daily Mail that the emergence of the bullying claims had ‘shaken’ many staff, both past and present, and brought up ‘many unhappy memories’ about a particularly ‘toxic period’. 

There is no timetable to the investigation but it is understood that any changes in policies and procedures will be shared publicly in an annual review expected later in the year. 

Meghan said The Times is being ‘used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative based on misleading and harmful misinformation’ about her treatment of staff after former aides accused her of ’emotional cruelty and manipulation’, reducing them to tears and leaving them ‘shaking’ with fear.

Her lawyers said the former actress was ‘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’. 

Jason Knauf – the Sussexes’ then communications secretary who now heads the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s charitable foundation – made a bullying complaint in October 2018 in an apparent attempt to force Buckingham Palace to protect staff.

A source told the newspaper Harry begged his senior aide not to take the matter further, but it also reported lawyers for the duke and duchess deny the meeting took place and that Harry would not have interfered with staff matters. 

The Duchess of Sussex (pictured with the royal family) is accused of 'driving out' two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff - with one former aide branding Harry and his wife 'outrageous bullies' in The Times earlier this week

The Duchess of Sussex (pictured with the royal family) is accused of ‘driving out’ two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff – with one former aide branding Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies’ in The Times earlier this week

On Wednesday night, 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'

On Wednesday night, 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’

He was moved to leading cardiac centre St Bartholomew's Hospital in the city of London on Monday

The Duke of Edinburgh has already spent 16 nights in hospital for an un-named infection and 'observation' of an underlying heart condition. He was moved to leading cardiac centre St Bartholomew's Hospital in the city of London on Monday

The Duke of Edinburgh has already spent 16 nights in hospital for an un-named infection and ‘observation’ of an underlying heart condition. He was moved to leading cardiac centre St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the city of London on Monday

Mr Knauf reportedly 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.

From having a second stent, replacing one fitted a decade ago, or getting a pacemaker: All the treatments Prince Philip could have had in hospital for his underlying heart condition 

Prince Philip underwent a ‘successful procedure’ for a pre-existing heart condition, Buckingham Palace confirmed yesterday.

But exactly what treatment the Duke of Edinburgh — who had a stent inserted during heart surgery in 2011 and has battled a secret heart ailment for 30 years — received remains a mystery. 

The 99-year-old has spent 16 nights in hospital so far after being admitted to a private facility with an undisclosed infection on February 16. His infection was not related to coronavirus.

He was transferred to leading cardiac centre St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London on March 1 for ‘testing and observation’ for a pre-existing heart condition.  

Cardiologists told MailOnline the most recent operation may have involved having a second stent fitted, getting one replaced or having a pacemaker inserted. 

Buckingham Palace representatives said although the Duke — who will turn 100 in June — remains comfortable, they expect him to remain on the wards until ‘at least the end of the week’.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said during a visit in south London that Prince Philip was ‘slightly improving’, adding: ‘We keep our fingers crossed.’ 

A stent is a small tube that is used to clear a blockage in an artery. It is inserted and expanded with a balloon to expand the artery and ensure blood can flow normally again. Dr Aseem Malhotra, an NHS cardiologist, said it was possible that Prince Philip was having another installed

Is Prince Philip getting a second stent fitted while in hospital to treat a heart blockage?  

Above is an explanation of how a stent is fitted

Above is an explanation of how a stent is fitted

An NHS cardiologist has suggested Prince Philip may be getting a second stent fitted while he is in hospital, arguing his infection may have put strain on his heart and triggered a partial blockage in his coronary artery.

Stents are tiny tubes used to clear arteries and allow blood to flow normally again. During an up to two-hour operation, they are inserted into a blockage and inflated to widen the blood vessel. 

They are then left in place with doctors saying the procedure is permanent, although in some cases they may need to be replaced.

There are three coronary arteries flowing to the heart, and the Duke has already had a stent fitted to one of them ten years ago at the Royal Papworth Hospital in London.  

Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said it was possible the Duke could be getting a second stent fitted to a separate coronary artery.

‘The infection could have put strain on his heart and either triggered a minor heart attack or unstable angina (when the heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen because of blood flow problems),’ he told MailOnline 

‘There are three coronary arteries, it is more likely he suffered a new blockage and needed a second stent.

‘He is fortunate to be in a country home to some of the best cardiologists in the world.’

Could doctors be replacing his stent or clearing a blockage that could have formed inside it?

It has also been suggested that the Duke could be in hospital because doctors are replacing the stent he had fitted ten years ago, or clearing a blockage that has formed inside it.

Experts said, however, that it is extremely rare for any stent to need to be replaced – and any blockages within it would only appear within the first six months.

The Harvard Medical School says online in response to a question asking whether they ‘wear out’ after a few years: ‘What’s important for the future is that you needed a stent in the first place. Other arteries, or spots in the same artery, almost certainly have cholesterol-filled plaques that could cause blockages, or worse.’ 

They said it was possible for a blockage to form inside the stent, but that this usually occurs within the first six months. If they are in place for longer without problems it is a ‘sign it has done its job well’.

After Prince Philip had his fitted in 2011, he was not readmitted to hospital with further heart problems until this year, according to Buckingham Palace. This suggests the operation was successful. 

When the stent is implanted tissue grows over it, making it part of the artery wall. But, if damage tissue grows instead, this can spark a further blockage and mean further operations are needed. 

Could the Prince be having a pacemaker installed to treat his underlying heart condition?

It has also been claimed that the Duke is having a pacemaker installed to treat his heart condition.

The heart beat is normally controlled by electrical signals from the body’s internal ‘pacemaker’, which triggers between 60 to 100 beats a minute. But the pulse can be disrupted – in a condition known as arrhythmia – by other heart conditions, smoking or stress.

A pacemaker stops this from happening by emitting regular electrical signals. They can be fitted just under the chest in an hour long operation, which would then require a day of rest in hospital to ensure the procedure worked.

Dr Malhotra told MailOnline: ‘A less likely option instead of a stent would be he needed a pacemaker, if he had a problem with his heart rhythm.’

There has been no previous suggestion that the Duke has suffered from an irregular heartbeat, although he does have an underlying heart condition which can spark this.

Palace officials have remained tight-lipped as to the cause of his time in hospital. 

 

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

The Times reported 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 behavior towards Y.’ 

Mr Knauf also made clear he was concerned nothing had been done, or would be done in future, to protect palace staff. 

He said Ms Carruthers ‘agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious’, but added: ‘I remain concerned that nothing will be done’. 

Melissa Touabti, the second of Meghan’s personal assistants to leave, departed six months after the royal wedding after she ended up in tears, according to reports.

Lawyers for the duke and duchess said the Sussexes believed staff to be comfortable and happy.  

The article came as ITV1 confirmed the ViacomCBS show, called Oprah With Meghan and Harry, will be broadcast in the UK between 9pm and 11pm on Monday night, almost 24 hours after it is shown in the United States. 

Staff told The Times they have spoken out to give their story before the couple’s tell-all interview, claiming that when Meghan was urged to support palace staff she replied: ‘It’s not my job to coddle people.’ 

It is also claimed that the couple’s treatment of aides worried Harry’s brother William so much, because some staff were shared, that he and his most senior advisor, Case, hastened the split between the Sussex and the Cambridge households and the destruction of their joint foundation. 

Other extraordinary revelations in The Times include claims Meghan wore a pair of £500,000 diamond earrings to a dinner in Fiji in 2018 that were a wedding gift from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, three weeks after the US claims he approved the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

And in a further twist Meghan, a campaigner for women’s rights, told aides they were borrowed from a jeweller, rather than a present from a regime known for human rights abuses and the oppression of women. 

Lawyers for the Duchess of Sussex have told The Times that she may have stated they were borrowed, but did not say they were borrowed from a jeweller – and denied that she had misled anyone about their provenance. 

The newspaper claims that on the same official tour the duchess was seen being ushered out of an official engagement to a local market due to apparent security concerns. 

In fact, it says, Meghan had cut short the visit because she had ‘reservations’ about the organization UN Women, which had an involvement in the event. 

Daily Mail Royal Editor Rebecca English witnessed the aftermath and wrote: ‘I was there at the time and witnessed Meghan turn and ‘hiss’ at a member of her entourage, clearly incandescent with rage about something, and demand to leave.

‘I later saw that same – female – highly distressed member of staff sitting in an official car, with tears running down her face. Our eyes met and she lowered hers, humiliation etched on her features’. 

Describing life working for Meghan and Harry, aides have claimed they ‘bent over backwards’ to help her when she arrived after the couple became engaged in 2017.

A source told The Times: ‘Everyone knew that the institution would be judged by her happiness’.

According to the Times their sources say two ‘senior’ members of royal staff were bullied by the duchess. An ex-employee alleged they had been ‘humiliated’.

Another aide described the experience of working for the Sussexes as ‘more like emotional cruelty and manipulation, which I guess could also be called bullying’.

Staff claimed they had occasion been reduced to tears after dealings with Meghan and one aide told a colleague ‘I can’t stop shaking’ as they anticipated a row with the duchess. 

Meghan’s lawyers vehemently deny she is a bully and said that one person had left the job because of misconduct. The Times said it could not corroborate that claim before publication last night.

The Mail also approached a spokesman for the Sussexes for comment. 

The Times said it was contacted by sources who felt a ‘partial version’ had emerged of Meghan’s two years as a working royal.

It makes clear they wished to tell their side in advance of Sunday’s ‘tell all’ television interview, which is likely to make uncomfortable viewing for Buckingham Palace. 

A spokesman for the Sussexes said in a statement to The Times: ‘Let’s just call this what it is – a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation’.

Insiders told The Times that despite Knauf’s intervention nothing was done to investigate the situation or to protect staff from bullying from senior royals in the future.

One source told The Times: ‘I think the problem is, not much happened with it. It was, ‘How can we make this go away?’, rather than addressing it’.

The email also described his worries about the stress the Sussexes’ private secretary Samantha Cohen was placed under. 

Mr Knauf wrote: ‘I questioned if the Household policy on bullying and harassment applies to principals’.

The Sussexes’ lawyers told The Times the couple remained close to Samantha today, and are very grateful for all her work them, denying she was ever bullied. 

The Times claims that after the email was sent, Prince Harry had a meeting with Mr Knauf and asked him not to pursue the claims against his wife. Lawyers for the couple deny the claim, or that the meeting took place at all.

Aides say that they did more to welcome Meghan than has been publicly acknowledged and wanted to give their side of the story before her interview with Oprah is broadcast in the US on Sunday and in the UK on Monday.

One source claimed: ‘Senior people in the household, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, knew that they had a situation where members of staff, particularly young women, were being bullied to the point of tears.

‘The institution just protected Meghan constantly. All the men in grey suits who she hates have a lot to answer for, because they did absolutely nothing to protect people’. 

Times sources described a ‘febrile’ atmosphere at Kensington Palace, where the Sussexes lived alongside Harry’s brother William and his family. After the 2018 royal wedding there was a split between the royal households, which was made public in 2019.

The newspaper claims that concerns over the treatment of staff, shared by both William and Harry, became so urgent that William and his aide, Case, sped-up the split of the two households. The source said: ‘What was a long-term plan became an immediate plan’. Kensington Palace has not responded to the claims. 

When Meghan arrived in London she claimed to have been a good boss. People magazine in the US claimed she once paid for an ice cream stand at Kensington Palace to treat staff in February 2019. 

A friend of the duchess said that workers ‘were remarking how it was the ‘best day of work ever’.

Meghan’s personal assistant Melissa Touabti quit just six months after the Royal wedding at Windsor Castle in May in 2018.

The 41-year-old from France had previously worked for X Factor judges Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field, who she loved working for, according to friends. 

‘Robbie Williams is a lively character, but she worked for him longer than she worked for Meghan,’ a friend of Melissa’s told the Daily Mail at the time. 

Royal biographer Robert Jobson claimed in his book, Charles At Seventy, that Meghan’s wedding preparations were so stressful that Harry became ‘petulant and short-tempered’ with members of staff. He wrote: ‘Raising his voice on occasion, Harry would insist: ‘What Meghan wants, she gets’.’

Both PAs who left signed non-disclosure agreements. Lawyers for the Sussexes said they had no idea about the NDAs.

The Times claims that after Harry and Meghan became engaged in late 2017 a senior member of palace staff warned them about the problems they may have if staff were treated badly. Meghan allegedly replied: ‘It’s not my job to coddle people.’ 

Friends of the couple have since explained that Meghan was not being rude, but she came from a different culture.

Defending the duchess’ management of people, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s Finding Freedom book says: ‘Americans can be much more direct, and that often doesn’t sit well in the much more refined institution of the monarchy.’

A spokesman for the Sussexes said in a statement to The Times: 'Let's just call this what it is - a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation'

A spokesman for the Sussexes said in a statement to The Times: ‘Let’s just call this what it is – a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation’

It came as ITV1 confirmed the ViacomCBS show, called Oprah With Meghan and Harry (the show's trailer, pictured), will be broadcast in the UK between 9pm and 11pm on Monday night, almost 24 hours after it is shown in the United States

It came as ITV1 confirmed the ViacomCBS show, called Oprah With Meghan and Harry (the show’s trailer, pictured), will be broadcast in the UK between 9pm and 11pm on Monday night, almost 24 hours after it is shown in the United States

But staff who spoke to The Times allege that it was worse than that. One said: ‘I had unpleasant experiences with her. I would definitely say humiliated.’ Another said they were ‘shaking’ and ‘terrified’ after a row about whether Meghan was told the media was attending one of her events.  

‘They’re sitting in a garden in California in the sunshine when we’ve all been through a cold lockdown winter’: Royal experts speak out about Harry and Meghan row 

Royal biographer Hugo Vickers told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘The Queen was extremely generous to them and when Harry dropped a bombshell and said they wanted to go off in January last year. The Queen left the door wide open for them and said ‘let’s have a year to think about it, see how it all goes’.

‘Even Harry in his interview with James Cordon the other day referred to chats via Zoom with Prince Philip. They’ve not been cut off, that’s ridiculous. I mean they may think these things but I’m afraid it seems to be very much of their own making.’

Another royal biographer, Angela Levin, told the programme: ‘I think it is shaky ground but I think the Queen has to put aside her favourite motto which is don’t explain and don’t complain and actually come back.

‘You cannot have this torrent of accusation and not do anything. I mean we’re not in 1936 now when Edward VIII made tremendous fuss about the monarchy and there was bad feeling because he married Wallace Simpson and he felt they were badly treated.

‘This is modern Britain and with all the outlets, the pounding on their head – I think it’s quite extraordinary that Meghan would want to do this while she was pregnant. She had a miscarriage. You are very vulnerable when you’re pregnant. Why put yourself in this terrible position?

‘She’s one of the most famous women in the world. She’s very rich now. She’s got what more than anybody could ask for and yet if she doesn’t get her own way she’s powerful – she will just go on and on and on.’

Mr Vickers added: ‘The Royal Family has been doing their best during the pandemic to keep our morale going. We’ve had some very good broadcasts from the Queen, we’ve had William and Kate zooming in all over the place, the Royal Family getting out and about and to be honest that’s what they do and these things will just pass by.

‘The Queen actually gave Harry and Meghan the entire Commonwealth to work with and the job of the Royal Family is to support the Queen in their role and then when the Queen doesn’t need them, they can pursue their own endeavours – lots of them do wonderful work – so I personally feel the Royal Family is not in crisis because they are doing a good job, they are serving us whereas I cannot help but agree with Angela that Harry and Meghan are serving themselves. They’re sitting in a garden in California in the sunshine when we’ve all been through a cold lockdown winter – look at the contrast.’

Months after the wedding the couple embarked on their first royal tour, visiting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. When staff complained of stress it is said that a senior adviser tried to reassure them by saying: ‘You are dealing with a very difficult lady’.

Meghan’s lawyers have said that their client had been distressed by negative press stories about her while living in the UK and her friends became ‘rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the institution and prohibited from defending herself’.

But aides trying to defend themselves before Sunday’s Oprah interview, have described bending over backwards for her as soon as she arrived. They also revealed that she was asked if she wanted to continue acting or working in the film industry, such was the clamor in the Royal Household to keep Harry’s new wife on side. But Meghan politely declined.

An insider with knowledge of the conversation told The Times: ‘The entire place, because of everything about her, and because of what Harry’s previous girlfriends had been through, was bending over backwards to make sure that every option was open’. Another source told the newspaper: ‘Everyone knew that the institution would be judged by her happiness’.

Meghan’s lawyers say she had left her life behind in the US to support her husband and work with him on charitable work and joint passion projects. The Finding Freedom book the couple deny collaborating with, says: ‘Nothing could convince Harry that some of the old guard at the palace simply didn’t like Meghan and would stop at nothing to make her life difficult’.

Responding to this allegation, a source told The Times: ‘The way I see it, their view of not getting institutional support was that they were not getting permission to blow up the institution’s relationships with the media’. The Sussexes’ lawyers denies these claims.

Another insider claimed that staff were panicked when there were rows with the Sussexes, because it was considered so unusual in the royal palaces.

‘When someone decides not to be civil, they have no idea what to do. They were run over by her, and then run over by Harry. They had no idea what to do’, the source said.

A spokesman for the Sussexes said in a statement to The Times: ‘Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. 

‘We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. 

‘It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining the duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and the duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years.

‘In a detailed legal letter of rebuttal to The Times, we have addressed these defamatory claims in full, including spurious allegations regarding the use of gifts loaned to the duchess by The Crown.

‘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 earlier declined to comment when contacted by the Mail. The duchess denies bullying and her lawyers stated that one individual left after findings of misconduct.

Did courtiers bury bullying claims to PROTECT Meghan? Duchess claims she is the victim of a cruel Palace conspiracy – but, as RICHARD KAY reveals, the truth is far more tantalising 

By Richard Kay for the Daily Mail 

His grand oak-panelled office with its conference table and comfy sofas in the heart of Whitehall, four miles from Kensington Palace, is too far away for Simon Case to hear the cries of anguish emanating from the royal bunker where he used to work.

The irony that he left the back-stabbing, hot-tempered intrigue of palace politics for the comparative tranquillity of Downing Street when he took the job as Britain’s top civil servant is not lost on the £200,000-a-year, risk-averse Cabinet Secretary.

But the chaos that has enveloped the royal world with incendiary claims that the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry bullied staff – and that he was privy to them as a senior courtier – has plunged the mandarin into the deepest crisis to hit the monarchy for a generation.

At its heart the turmoil engulfing the royals has occurred not because of what the bespectacled Dr Case did – but because of what, it is alleged, didn’t happen after the bullying claims reached his desk. 

Simon Case (pictured with Prince William in 2019) left the Palace for Downing Street when he took the job as Britain’s top civil servant

Simon Case (pictured with Prince William in 2019) left the Palace for Downing Street when he took the job as Britain’s top civil servant

Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle are set to feature in a tell all interview with American chat show host Oprah Winfrey on Sunday

Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle are set to feature in a tell all interview with American chat show host Oprah Winfrey on Sunday

Duke of Edinburgh recovering in hospital following successful surgery for pre-existing heart condition 

By Kate Pickles, Health Correspondent for the Daily Mail 

The Duke of Edinburgh is recovering in hospital following successful surgery for a pre-existing heart condition – just three months short of his 100th birthday.

Prince Philip, the nation’s longest serving consort, underwent the procedure at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London on Wednesday.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: ‘His Royal Highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days.’

The announcement sparked renewed concern due to the duke’s advanced age.

He has already spent 17 nights in hospital after being admitted to the King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone, central London, on February 16, on his doctor’s advice.

He has never before spent as long in hospital. The duke – whose 100th birthday will be on June 10 – walked into King Edward VII’s unaided after travelling there from Windsor Castle, where he has spent most of lockdown with the Queen.

A royal source had previously said that it had not been an emergency admission and was down to ‘an abundance of caution’. Philip was admitted after feeling unwell and was treated for an infection.

But on Monday, he was transferred to Bart’s – the country’s leading heart hospital – for tests and observation on ‘an existing heart condition’. Treatment for the infection was also to continue.

In 2011, Philip was rushed to hospital by helicopter from Sandringham after suffering chest pains as the royal family prepared for Christmas. In the serious health scare, he was treated for a blocked coronary artery at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire and had a stent fitted – a minimally invasive procedure.

The Palace declined to give details of the latest exact surgery. But experts have suggested that a decade on, the stent may have needed replacing, requiring a further procedure.

It is also possible that the duke had aortic stenosis, a common condition in old age where the main valve in the heart becomes stiff or narrowed, reducing blood flow to the main artery.

Once requiring open heart surgery, the valve now tends to be replaced using another minimally-invasive procedure which patients can recover from ‘in days’.

Dr Derek Connolly, a consultant interventional cardiologist at Birmingham City Hospital, said Philip is in ‘the best possible hands’. He explained: ‘We obviously don’t know the procedure he’s undergone but we do know he’s got coronary disease from when he had the stent fitted ten years ago.

‘Older patients often get stenosis of the aortic valve but they will be checking for other conditions, such as rhythm disturbances and the heart failing.

‘Charles Knight, the chief executive at Bart’s, is one of the most eminent cardiologists in Europe so he’s in exactly the right place, whichever of these it is. The team at Bart’s really are world-leaders when it comes to cardiology.’ The Duchess of Cornwall revealed the Duke of Edinburgh was ‘slightly improving’ but ‘hurts at moments’ as she carried out a visit to a community vaccination centre on Wednesday.

On a visit to South London, Camilla was heard telling staff that morning: ‘We’ll keep our fingers crossed.’

It is not known whether the duke had undergone the procedure at this point.

Philip is patron of the British Heart Foundation, which sent its best wishes, saying the royal had been a ‘long-term advocate for heart research’.

Philip was visited in King Edward VII’s Hospital last month by the Prince of Wales, who made a 200-mile round trip from Highgrove and stayed for around half an hour.

Along with the Queen, Philip received his Covid-19 jab in January.

After announcing the surgery, the Palace shared an image on social media to mark World Book Day of the Queen and Philip together in 1976 in the library at Balmoral Castle.

The Queen has been carrying on with her official duties, holding her weekly audience with the Prime Minister by telephone from Windsor on Wednesday.

She had a telephone audience with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Wigston.

Meanwhile, ITV vowed to go ahead with broadcasting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, despite criticism in light of Philip’s ongoing health problems. The broadcaster released a trailer yesterday, ahead of the two-hour show next Monday, featuring the same footage put out by CBS.

 

On Wednesday it emerged he had been sent an email from Harry and Meghan’s former communications secretary Jason Knauf that claimed the duchess bullied two assistants and shattered the confidence of a third member of staff, and ‘drove them out’ of Kensington Palace. 

At the same time a former aide was quoted as telling The Times newspaper that both Harry and his wife were ‘outrageous bullies’.

The complaint was passed to the palace’s personnel department – these days known as HR, or human resources – and, once there, the suspicion is that it was buried.

Now the leaking of the email has forced Buckingham Palace into retrospective action with its unprecedented announcement of an inquiry into the bullying claims.

Past and present staff are to be invited to speak confidentially about their experience of working for Meghan.

The Queen’s statement escalated the tit-for-tat war of words between Buckingham Palace and Los Angeles-based ‘Team Sussex’.

A clip from Meghan’s upcoming tell-all interview with broadcaster Oprah Winfrey included the extraordinary accusation from her that the palace had been ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry.

But beyond recriminations about the bullying claims, the focus is shifting to the role played in the whole sorry saga by palace servants and who knew what and when.

That has placed the smooth-as-silk Dr Case at the centre of the drama. But it also involves other figures, some of them American-born like the duchess.

The story begins in October 2018 when, behind palace doors, the glow of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Windsor wedding just five months earlier had long passed.  Insiders were already describing Meghan as ‘Duchess Difficult’.

Despite the positive headlines of their first major overseas tour to Australia there were claims that her demands had reduced at least one member of staff to tears.

As the man in charge of the couple’s public image, Jason Knauf was so alarmed by what he had learned that he set it down in an email, writing: ‘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).’

In the same message, Mr Knauf expressed concern about the stress experienced by Samantha Cohen, the couple’s private secretary, a veteran of the Queen’s office and a highly regarded palace operator.

Why Mr Knauf wrote to Dr Case when technically Miss Cohen was his line manager is unclear. But presumably it is explained by the fact that Australian-born Miss Cohen featured in the content.

Although Dr Case had no managerial responsibility for Harry’s staff, he was said to take a close interest in what was happening at a time when the strains between Harry and William were beginning to cause real concern at the palace.

He and Mr Knauf had a close working relationship as he was also communications chief for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

According to reports, Dr Case suggested the email should be passed to Samantha Carruthers, human resources director for the Prince of Wales at Clarence House.

As Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall funds both Harry and William’s staff, HR comes under his control.

Some believe that by passing the whole thing to human resources Dr Case was effectively washing his hands of the problem.

Meanwhile, Mr Knauf said he had already consulted Miss Carruthers – who now works for media figure Elisabeth Murdoch – and that she ‘agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious’.

But he added pointedly: ‘I remain concerned that nothing will be done.’

What seems beyond doubt is that the complaint about Meghan’s behaviour reached HR but it is unclear why it went no further. Was it a deliberate cover-up – or a concerted attempt to bend over backwards to accommodate the duchess?

Figures close to the action at that time say that there was a view that the claims of bullying have long been a feature of royal life.

As a courtier observes: ‘Working for the royals is a very strange job. It tends to attract social misfits and those from military backgrounds used to taking orders, but not everyone can handle it.

‘Very few cases are made public and victims are usually paid off and made to sign a non-disclosure agreement.’

The palace inquiry will try to get to the bottom of the Knauf complaint. The one question it will need to answer is whether it was taken to a higher level in the royal household or, as Mr Knauf clearly believed, was simply ignored.

How ironic if the latter is the case. This would suggest the very people whom Meghan has complained were out to destroy her, the ‘men in grey suits’ were actually the figures protecting her. 

Jason Knauf (pictured) the press secretary at Kensington Palace

Samantha Carruthers head of HR at Kensington Palace

As the man in charge of the couple’s public image, Jason Knauf (pictured left) was so alarmed by what he had learned that he set it down in an email, writing: ‘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. Pictured right: Samantha Carruthers head of HR

Palace ‘won’t rush’ inquiry into Meghan Markle bullying allegations

By Daily Mail Reporter 

The Buckingham Palace inquiry into claims that Harry and Meghan bullied their staff may not release its findings until next year.

The Queen launched the probe into the behaviour of her grandson and his wife following allegations they inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on aides and ‘drove them out’.

Royal sources said they have set ‘no timeframe’ for the investigation, which could see as many as 12 people give evidence.

While they stressed that any resulting changes to workplace practices will be made public in the annual Sovereign Grant report, they could not say whether it would be in this year’s review or the next.

A source said: ‘There will be no push to rush through this. It is a very sensitive issue. The fact we are doing this and have made clear we are very concerned about the allegations shows how seriously this is being taken.’

They added: ‘This is a ‘lessons learned’ exercise, to educate us about what happened. But policies will clearly change should it be found that they need to.’ Harry and Meghan, who deny the accusations, will not be asked to contribute at this stage.

 

All the same, it is significant that the complaint should have been made by Jason Knauf.

American-born with a liberal outlook, he was educated at the London School of Economics and a university in New Zealand.

If anyone could understand how difficult it could be for a modern, opinionated and socially aware young woman like fellow American Meghan to adjust to royal life, it surely would be Mr Knauf. 

The fact that she should end up antagonising him, an instinctive supporter, suggests the duchess’s behaviour was worthy of censure. 

Not long after he sent his email, a restructuring of Harry and Meghan’s staff – which seemed to happen regularly – another American figure arrived to replace him.

This was Sara Latham, a former aide to Hillary Clinton who had worked at the highest level in the UK Government. With dual British and US citizenship, she seemed ideal – not just to manage Meghan’s PR, but as a sounding board as the duchess adjusted to life as a royal.

But it too proved not to be a successful relationship. For palace old hands, courtiers cannot be blamed.

‘Meghan arrived having no idea of monarchy and how it rests on public approval and carefully calibrated deference,’ says a figure close to Charles.

‘When she met Harry his popularity was soaring. She had no idea she would be playing second fiddle or even third fiddle after Charles and William and Kate. 

‘She thought she was marrying the equivalent of Robbie Williams in his Glastonbury days after his split from Take That. But the royals aren’t Hollywood and celebrity, respect has to be earned and she didn’t like that.’

A spokesman for the Sussexes told The Times they were the victims of a ‘calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful information’ adding that the duchess was ‘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’.

As for Simon Case, there must be the queasiest of feelings that those silky skills honed in the civil service could have been put to better use to prevent a petty royal drama turning into an existential crisis that today threatens the very fabric of the monarchy.

Meghan takes side swipe at ‘The Firm’ as she accuses Royal Family of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ in her TV onslaught

By Rebecca English, Royal Editor for the Daily Mail

Palace aides were braced for an explosive fallout from the Duchess of Sussex’s ‘tell-all’ Oprah interview last night after the first full clip showed her accusing the Royal Family of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry.

In the clip released by CBS, the US broadcaster that will air her two-hour bombshell talk with chat show host Oprah Winfrey, Meghan makes it clear she will not be ‘silenced by The Firm’, a catch-all term for the Royal Family.

To a background of dramatic music, Miss Winfrey asks her: ‘How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?’

Stony faced, Meghan replies: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.’ 

In the clip released by CBS, the US broadcaster that will air her two-hour bombshell talk with chat show host Oprah Winfrey, Meghan makes it clear she will not be ‘silenced by The Firm’, a catch-all term for the Royal Family

In the clip released by CBS, the US broadcaster that will air her two-hour bombshell talk with chat show host Oprah Winfrey, Meghan makes it clear she will not be ‘silenced by The Firm’, a catch-all term for the Royal Family

Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview to be broadcast in 70 countries in deals experts say are worth ‘a king’s ransom’ 

By Daniel Bates in New York for the Daily Mail 

Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey will be broadcast in more than 70 countries in deals experts say will be worth ‘a king’s ransom’.

Sources close to the couple said the interview will go out in America on Sunday night as planned, despite calls for it to be postponed while the Duke of Edinburgh is seriously ill in hospital.

US television network CBS announced that it is syndicating the two-hour special to dozens of countries.

Countries that will screen the show include Britain, Australia, Canada, about 40 nations in sub-Saharan Africa and even Iceland.

More countries will be announced in the coming days under arrangements that experts say could earn tens of millions of pounds for CBS. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not being paid for the interview and will not receive a slice of the syndication profits, the production company, owned by Miss Winfrey, said.

CBS is said to be charging advertisers £150,000 for a 30-second slot – meaning they could rake in millions over the course of the broadcast alone.

PR insider Mark Borkowski said: ‘With 70 countries, a conservative estimate is that this is going to make tens of millions. I can’t see anything less than that.

‘You’re looking at a king’s ransom and it’s going to be a massive payday for CBS. The last event on a scale like this was probably Meghan’s own wedding.

‘If it had been outside of Covid and the ravages of that on the ad industry it might have been a bigger deal, but it’s still going to be a huge piece of content to have.’

The scale of the sale means that hundreds of millions of people around the world could see the interview, the kind of audience associated with events such as the Olympics. It will first be seen on CBS on Sunday night. In Britain, ITV is said to have paid £1million to show the interview here on Monday night.

A source close to the couple said the timing of the broadcast was now out of their hands. The source said: ‘There are a lot of people who are going to talk about this until the programme airs, but the programming and all the rest of it is ultimately up to CBS. We’re not involved in that side of things.

‘As it stands, I don’t think there is any intention from the programme maker to change its air date.’

Tory MP Bob Blackman said the interview was simply ‘inappropriate’.

He added: ‘To be doing a tell-all interview screened in the UK when Philip is in hospital…they are badly advised, to put it mildly.

‘None of these royal interviews have gone well…and I can’t see this going any better.’

Speaking in the garden of a friend’s Californian mansion, she adds: ‘And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, I … there is a lot that has been lost already.’

The prime-time interview will be aired in more than 70 countries, including the UK where ITV is believed to have spent close to £1million to broadcast it.

Palace aides were already preparing to ‘hide behind the sofa’, fearful that Meghan will use the interview to settle perceived scores with the monarchy.

They knew that senior courtiers – the so-called ‘men in grey suits’ – would very much be in the line of fire. The couple have already loudly complained about what they perceived as their lack of support and even wildly accused them of actively plotting their downfall.

But sources close to the Sussexes had been also busily briefing, anonymously, that Meghan did not intend to disrespect the Queen.

However, it now appears it could have an impact reminiscent of Princess Diana’s infamous ‘there were three of us in the marriage’ Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, which caused a full-scale Royal Family crisis.

While the Palace has refused to comment on Meghan’s decision to speak about her time as a working royal, saying it does not wish to get involved in the ‘circus around a media interview’, it is clear that senior officials are angry at the suggestion that anyone in the royal household – let alone senior royals – ever set out to malign her.

On Wednesday they also reacted angrily to further suggestions by a spokesman for the Sussexes that they were behind a ‘calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful information’ which saw accusations of bullying levelled against Meghan in The Times by former aides.

The paper revealed a complaint that the duchess had ‘driven out’ two PAs with her behaviour and targeted other members of staff was raised by her own head of communications in October 2018. But nothing, it appears, was ever done.

One of the senior aides who was made aware of the bullying accusations was Simon Case, who was then Prince William’s private secretary and is now Cabinet Secretary.

Downing Street said that Boris Johnson had full confidence in Dr Case. A spokesman said it was ‘a matter for the Palace’.

The Sussex team have sensationally claimed The Times was ‘being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative’ ahead of her Oprah interview.

Sources have told the Daily Mail the ‘disgusting’ suggestion is ‘absolute untrue and utterly baseless’.

The Queen has ordered an unprecedented inquiry into the claims that her grandson and his wife inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on staff.

Palace insiders are particularly frustrated by recent events as they believe they did everything they could to support the couple – giving them a hand-picked team of loyal staff, millions in funding and even allowed them to chose whatever home they wanted.

They are also all too aware, sources say, of how Meghan and Harry have accused ‘pretty much everyone they have come into contact with’ of leaking stories against them at one time or another.

This, remarkably, includes senior royals such as the Duchess of Cambridge and Harry’s stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall, to senior officials in every royal household – including their own close-knit and loyal team. ‘All absolutely false,’ one source said. 

On Wednesday they also reacted angrily to further suggestions by a spokesman for the Sussexes that they were behind a ‘calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful information’ which saw accusations of bullying levelled against Meghan in The Times by former aides

On Wednesday they also reacted angrily to further suggestions by a spokesman for the Sussexes that they were behind a ‘calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful information’ which saw accusations of bullying levelled against Meghan in The Times by former aides

The Sussex team have sensationally claimed The Times was ‘being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative’ ahead of her Oprah interview

The Sussex team have sensationally claimed The Times was ‘being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative’ ahead of her Oprah interview

One insider said: ‘It is all a bit unedifying and ridiculous. If anyone in the Palace was orchestrating or peddling a campaign of misinformation to smear them they would think of something better than accusations of bullying that the institution itself doesn’t come out well from. Buckingham Palace are determined to try to maintain a dignified silence on the interview and the furore around it.’ 

But writing for Harper’s Bazaar, a US magazine that prides itself on publishing positive coverage of Meghan, Omid Scobie, the author of the Sussexes’ controversial biography Finding Freedom, this week accused Palace staff of a ‘takedown’ of Meghan’s character.

He quoted a friend as saying: ‘Harry and Meghan knew that it would get ugly in the run-up [to the Oprah special], but seeing such an obvious attempt at destroying her character was distressing and upsetting.’ 

Charity boss who worked closely with Duchess is besieged for saying ‘hurting the Queen in public is really low’

By Rebecca English, Royal Editor for the Daily Mail

A charity executive who has worked closely with the Duchess of Sussex was hounded on Twitter yesterday after posting: ‘Hurting the Queen in public is really low.’

Kate Robertson, who founded One Young World, said the duchess should sort out her grievances ‘in person privately’ and praised the monarch for being the ‘world’s most stunning example of public service’

Kate Robertson, who founded One Young World, said the duchess should sort out her grievances ‘in person privately’ and praised the monarch for being the ‘world’s most stunning example of public service’

Kate Robertson, who founded One Young World, said the duchess should sort out her grievances ‘in person privately’ and praised the monarch for being the ‘world’s most stunning example of public service’.

But Mrs Robertson deleted her tweet three hours later after she was trolled by ‘fans’ of the Sussexes and said she had been ‘unduly critical of people I admire, care about and have worked with for a long time’.

Her first message – after the Sussexes took a swipe at Buckingham Palace – was posted at 8.18am and read: ‘Not having any of it. The Queen is the world’s most stunning example of duty and service.

‘The Sussexes have grievances but should sort out in person privately. Hurting the Queen in public is really low.’

The duchess has supported One Young World for a number of years, both before and after her marriage to Harry, and appeared with Mrs Robertson at several events. They made headlines in 2019 when Mrs Robertson greeted the duchess on stage with a curtsy, while Meghan went in for a warm hug, resulting in an awkward clash (pictured)

The duchess has supported One Young World for a number of years, both before and after her marriage to Harry, and appeared with Mrs Robertson at several events. They made headlines in 2019 when Mrs Robertson greeted the duchess on stage with a curtsy, while Meghan went in for a warm hug, resulting in an awkward clash (pictured)

Meghan’s biographer, Omid Scobie, who wrote last summer’s controversial Finding Freedom, then highlighted the message, saying: ‘It seems like that not everybody will be watching [Oprah] on Sunday, including the founder of One Young World, a youth-focused global forum that the Duchess of Sussex has been involved with for years.’

His message sparked a social media ‘pile-on’ with Mrs Robertson being bombarded with angry messages from fanatical admirers of the duchess.

She subsequently deleted the Tweet and posted: ‘I am so sorry. I sent a tweet this morning that was unduly critical of people I admire, care about and have worked with for a long time.

‘People have called me out on it and they were right to do so – we should all choose to contribute to a culture of kindness. Everyone has the right to tell their story – that’s what our work is about. This was a good lesson: commenting on people’s personal lives is wrong. I’m truly sorry.’

Worryingly, even her apology was subject to hundreds of messages of abuse from social media users bizarrely calling themselves ‘the Sussex Squad’, including several demanding her resignation.

Mr Scobie’s tweet that quoted her message was later removed. The duchess has supported One Young World for a number of years, both before and after her marriage to Harry, and appeared with Mrs Robertson at several events.

They made headlines in 2019 when Mrs Robertson greeted the duchess on stage with a curtsy, while Meghan went in for a warm hug, resulting in an awkward clash. 

Meghan’s friends accuse Royal aides of painting Duchess as an ‘angry woman of colour’ with ‘bullying’ allegations in an ‘ugly’ bid to ‘destroy her character’ ahead of tell-all Oprah interview

Meghan Markle’s friends have rushed to her defence amid the Buckingham Palace ‘bullying’ row – with one claiming the dramatic fallout has been fuelled by racism.

Omid Scobie, author of the Finding Freedom biography of the Sussexes, quoted a series of Meghan’s friends standing up for her in a report for Harper’s Bazaar.

One friend said Meghan was another example of a ‘woman of colour in a senior position… accused of being too angry, too scary, too whatever in the workplace’.

The author was also told Meghan and her husband Prince Harry have found the claims ‘distressing and upsetting’, and that she is always ‘kind and considerate’.  

Omid Scobie, royal editor at large for Harper's Bazaar and author of the Finding Freedom biography of the Sussexes, quoted a series of Meghan's friends who have stood up for her

Omid Scobie, royal editor at large for Harper’s Bazaar and author of the Finding Freedom biography of the Sussexes, quoted a series of Meghan’s friends who have stood up for her

Meghan is pictured during her interview with Oprah Winfrey set to air on ITV next Monday

Meghan is pictured during her interview with Oprah Winfrey set to air on ITV next Monday

Omid Scobie: Harper’s Bazaar royal editor who left Heat after allegedly being called a ‘P**i’ 

Omid Scobie started his career on the celebrity magazine Heat before moving on to cover the royals. 

He is now royal editor at large for Harper’s Bazaar.

Born to a Scottish father who runs a marketing agency and an Iranian mother who works in child welfare, he said he left Heat after an executive is alleged to have called him a ‘P**i’.

He is a royal contributor for Good Morning America and host of ABC’s royal podcast, ‘The Heir Pod’.

Mr Scobie has boasted of his exclusive access to Prince Harry and Meghan. 

Mr Scobie is co-author of Finding Freedom, a biography about Harry and Meghan

Mr Scobie is co-author of Finding Freedom, a biography about Harry and Meghan

He is described in the blurb for the Sussexes biography Finding Freedom as ‘an authoritative voice on the lives and philanthropic endeavors of the Royal Family’s younger members and maintains strong access to the Sussexes’ working world’.

Mr Scobie, the royal editor of Harper’s Bazaar, regularly stands up for Meghan on social media and last night retweeted a series of positive messages backing her. 

In an article he also claims that the couple, who deny helping him with his book, ‘knew that it would get ugly in the run up’ before their Oprah Winfrey interview.

The ‘tell-all’ two-hour conversation will be broadcast in the US on CBS this Sunday night at 1am UK time, before being shown in Britain on ITV on Monday from 9pm.

Writing in Harper’s Bazaar, Mr Scobie quotes a anonymous friend of Meghan saying: ‘I hate to say it, but find me a woman of colour in a senior position who has not been accused of being too angry, too scary, too whatever in the workplace. It’s sad that it’s happening, but I’m not surprised. These claims are so far from the woman I know.’

Another said: ‘Harry and Meghan knew that it would get ugly in the run up but seeing such an obvious attempt at destroying her character was distressing and upsetting.’

It comes as the Duchess said she could not be expected to stay silent if the royal family played a part in ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry.

A clip of Meghan making the remarks to Oprah Winfrey was released in the early hours of yesterday, in which the Duchess added ‘a lot … has been lost already’.

The couple’s interview with the US chat show queen is expected to lift the lid on their short period as working royals before they stepped down for a life in America.

In the 30-second clip released on social media, Oprah asks the Duchess: ‘How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?’

She replies: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.

‘And, if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, I … there is a lot that has been lost already.’

‘The Firm’ is widely considered to be shorthand for the institution of the royal family.

The clip was released just hours after Buckingham Palace said last night it had launched an investigation into claims that the Duchess bullied former royal staff.

Past and present employees are to be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for Meghan, after it was alleged she drove out two personal assistants and that staff were ‘humiliated’ on several occasions.

The Times newspaper has reported that the duchess ‘destroyed’ one member of staff and another was left in tears before she departed. Meghan’s lawyers have vehemently denied she is a bully.

Mr Scobie last night retweeted a series of positive messages backing the Duchess of Sussex

Mr Scobie last night retweeted a series of positive messages backing the Duchess of Sussex

Kate Middleton’s mother Carole asks publishers of Good Housekeeping not to promote her cover interview to avoid being ‘insensitive’ to Prince Philip, 99, 

Kate Middleton’s mother Carole has asked the publishers of Good Housekeeping magazine not to promote a cover interview with her over fears it will look ‘insensitive’ while Prince Philip is battling ill-health in hospital. 

Carole Middleton, who runs party supply company Party Pieces, interviewed with the magazine in January but has reportedly asked its publishers not to promote it as Prince Philip, 99, is still in hospital.

The news comes ahead of a ‘tell-all’ interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey which is set to air in the UK on Monday night, despite criticism of its timing.

Kate Middleton's mother Carole turned down publicity for  an interview in Good Housekeeping magazine because she did not want to be 'insensitive' while Prince Philip, 99, was in hospital

Kate Middleton’s mother Carole turned down publicity for  an interview in Good Housekeeping magazine because she did not want to be ‘insensitive’ while Prince Philip, 99, was in hospital

Respectful: Carole Middleton, pictured on the cover of Good Housekeeping, discusses her business and family life in the interview which features in the April issue and is out now

Respectful: Carole Middleton, pictured on the cover of Good Housekeeping, discusses her business and family life in the interview which features in the April issue and is out now

A source told the Sun: ‘Carole is incredibly proud of her company and all the hard work that goes into it.

‘But whilst backing the business, she didn’t want to turn any news into a media circus because she is so respectful and sensitive to Catherine, and the royal family.

 ‘She always gets William’s go-ahead before any interview like this, and he is incredibly supportive.

‘But the more the PR machine rolled out in Los Angeles with Meghan and Harry, the more sensitive Carole became.

‘She decided she didn’t want to do any PR for the interview – even if it cost her thousands in potential lost marketing.’

In the interview, which features in the April issue and is out now, Carole shares insights into her company Party Pieces as well as her family life.

She appears on the cover of the magazine wearing a £375 Seventies-inspired floral print dress from Wyse London, befitting the arrival of spring. 

Kate and William will join the Queen for special broadcast to celebrate the Commonwealth hours before Sussexes’ bombshell Oprah interview airs 

By Dan Sales For MailOnline

The Queen will appear on a television special featuring Prince William and Kate, Sophie as well as Charles and Camilla hours before Harry and Meghan’s US interview criticising the Royal household.

Six senior Royals will be seen on A Celebration For Commonwealth Day which will be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday.

It will be seen by millions of Britons before Meghan’s pre-recorded CBS sit-down with Oprah Winfrey which has already been trailed showing her hitting out at ‘The Firm’.

In fact six of the eight senior Royal Family members widely said to make up The Firm will be seen speaking beforehand – with only Princess Anne and Edward not featured. 

The Queen’s annual Commonwealth Day message will pay tribute to communities across the family of nations have come together in response to the pandemic.

The Queen will be joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate on TV

The Queen will be joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate on TV

The Royal family broadcast will go out hours before Meghan and Harry are on US television

The Royal family broadcast will go out hours before Meghan and Harry are on US television

Later the Prince of Wales will addressing the universal devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic in a recorded message and wife Camilla will tell broadcaster Clare Balding about the importance of books.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also spoken to medical, charity and voluntary staff from across the Commonwealth to hear more about the work they have been carrying out to care for those within their communities.

Finally the Countess of Wessex has spoken to three women from around the Commonwealth, to hear about their experiences of supporting other women and their wider communities.

The 5pm programme steals a march on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to beat them to the airwaves by addressing the nation on TV first.

Her Majesty was due to attend the annual Commonwealth Service on March 8 – but this has been cancelled for the first time in nearly half a century due to Covid-19, Westminster Abbey announced this week.

The Queen will take to the airways without Meghan and Harry who have stepped down

The Queen will take to the airways without Meghan and Harry who have stepped down

Instead the Queen chose to share her annual message 24 hours earlier for A Celebration For Commonwealth Day.

This will be shown to millions a few hours before Harry and Meghan’s intimate interview with Oprah Winfrey is being screened in a two-hour special on CBS at 8pm EST in the US – around 1am UK time on Monday. 

A Westminster Abbey spokesman said: ‘The decision was taken jointly by the Abbey, the BBC and the royal household about three weeks ago.’ 

The clash between the Queen’s BBC statement and the Sussexes’ multi-million dollar CBS interview has extra significance because last year’s Commonwealth Service was when the couple bowed out as working royals, and when they were last seen in public with Harry’s grandmother, father and brother. 

Harry and Meghan are said to be in shock because the Queen stripped them of their royal and sporting patronages after they ‘poured their hearts out’ to Ms Winfrey during a two-day shoot in their £11million LA mansion last week.

The tell-all interview is due to air on Sunday March 7 with no topics off-limits with one source warning Harry’s family the show would be a good ‘time to hide behind the sofa at the palace’. 

It has also emerged that Meghan is expected to speak about the feud with her family on her father Thomas’ side after This Morning host Holly Willoughby said that Oprah Winfrey’s team had been in contact with ITV for footage of an interview with her half-sister.

In the January 2020 broadcast Samantha Markle said the former Suits actress and Harry owed her and their father an apology for ‘incredibly wrong, untoward, and shocking’ behaviour after the royal wedding in 2018. 

‘We can FINALLY tell the truth’: Former Royal aide who claims she was ‘bullied by Meghan Markle’ welcomes Palace probe and hopes it will put pressure on her and Harry to provide evidence

By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For Mailonline and Rebecca English Royal Editor and Sam Greenhill Chief Reporter For The Daily Mail 

An aide claiming to have been bullied by Meghan Markle welcomed the Queen’s investigation into her and Harry’s alleged mistreatment of staff and declared: ‘We will finally be able to tell the truth’.

The unnamed palace worker’s claim will pile even more pressure on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to give evidence to the probe after they were invited to take part by Buckingham Palace. 

The Sussexes are accused of leaving behind a ‘lot of broken people’ with ‘young women broken by their behaviour’ and a source describing one member of their staff as ‘completely destroyed’ by the ordeal.

The Queen has now launched an unprecedented inquiry into allegations that Meghan and Harry bullied their staff – leaving royal employees ‘shaken’ by ‘unhappy memories’ being brought up about a ‘toxic period’ before the couple emigrated.

Devastating claims that the Duchess of Sussex inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on underlings and ‘drove them out’ were ‘very’ concerning, Buckingham Palace said.  

The whistleblower told The Times: ‘We will finally be able to tell the truth. It’s not going to be easy, but this is very welcome and long overdue. We don’t have to be silent any more’. Lawyers for the Sussexes have vehemently denied they have bullied or mistreated staff.

It came as Meghan Markle accused the Royal Family of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry in their interview with Oprah Winfrey in a new teaser clip released just hours after Buckingham Palace launched a probe into her alleged bullying of staff.

Ramping up her war of words with the royals, the Duchess of Sussex calls her husband’s family ‘The Firm’ in the 30-second trailer released by CBS yesterday and blames them for speaking out in a show set to be watched by millions around the globe.

Hours after she made the claims, Buckingham Palace revealed the Duke of Edinburgh has undergone a ‘successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition’ and will remain in hospital for ‘treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days’.

Prince Philip, 99, had the operation at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London, where he was transferred to on Monday after spending 14 days at King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone due to an infection.   

Harry’s grandfather’s ill health will again increase calls for the couple to postpone its broadcast on CBS in the US on Sunday and on ITV1 in the UK on Monday.  

The Queen (pictured with the couple in 2018) launched an unprecedented inquiry last night into allegations that Meghan and Harry bullied their staff

The Queen (pictured with the couple in 2018) launched an unprecedented inquiry last night into allegations that Meghan and Harry bullied their staff 

It came as a royal outsider scotched hopes they could one day return for royal events such as Trooping the Colour, saying: ‘I can’t ever see those two back on the balcony.’ 

Harry and his wife were both labelled ‘outrageous bullies’, according to sensational claims. 

‘Broken’ royal aides told of feeling humiliated, ‘sick’, ‘terrified’, left ‘shaking’ with fear, and being reduced to tears by the duchess.

In an extraordinary statement, Buckingham Palace announced a formal probe into the allegations surrounding the Queen’s grandson and his wife. Members of staff will be invited to contribute in confidence.

The 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 Royal Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.

‘The 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.’

It does not appear that the duke and duchess will be consulted at this stage. However, Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, have strenuously denied any bullying.

In response to the reports, they accused the Queen’s staff of orchestrating a ‘calculated smear campaign’ ahead of their explosive two-hour ‘tell-all’ interview with Oprah Winfrey being broadcast this weekend.

But Palace sources last night slapped down the smear claim as utterly ‘disingenuous’.

The allegations and resulting probe – as well as accusations by the duchess that Buckingham Palace, and therefore the Queen, are deliberately moving against her – sees a new low in relations between the two parties.

When the couple acrimoniously quit last year as working royals, the elderly monarch made clear her regret and made a point of saying they were still much loved members of her family.

Aides said the hope was that they could still return for family events such as Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday when royals gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and other important occasions.

Last night a royal insider commented: ‘I can’t ever see those two back on the balcony.’

There is no timetable to the investigation but it is understood that any changes in policies and procedures will be shared publicly in an annual review expected later in the year.

Palace officials will be asked why the initial claims of bullying that were made in October 2018 were not acted on at the time.

A royal source told the Daily Mail last night that the emergence of the bullying claims had ‘shaken’ many staff, both past and present, and brought up ‘many unhappy memories’ about a particularly ‘toxic period’.

The Times revealed allegations that the duchess bullied two assistants and shattered the confidence of another member of staff, and ‘drove them out’ of Kensington Palace. It published a litany of alleged bullying and ’emotional cruelty’.

A Palace source told the paper: ‘There were a lot of broken people. Young women were broken by their behaviour.’ The source described one member of staff as ‘completely destroyed’.

A former aide branded both Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies’. Another source claimed that Samantha Cohen, the couple’s private secretary, had also been picked on.

In October 2018, an official complaint was lodged by Jason Knauf, himself one the couple’s most senior advisers.

He wrote: ‘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].’

Harry and Meghan, whose ‘no holds barred’ CBS interview with Miss Winfrey will be broadcast on Sunday in America and in the UK on Monday at 9pm on ITV – which reportedly paid £1million – hit back at the allegations in The Times. A spokesman claimed the newspaper was being ‘used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative’ before the interview.

Yesterday a senior Palace source told the Mail: ‘This is absolutely untrue. We haven’t been ‘peddling’ anything. It’s disingenuous [to suggest that]. There are far more important things going on in the world [a reference to the pandemic and Prince Philip’s hospitalisation] that have been focusing our attention, rather than the circus around a media interview.’

Another source added: ‘The Palace has 100 per cent refused to discuss in any way, shape or form the interview.

‘Every journalist that has been asking them about it for the last week or so knows that.

‘The view from the start is that nothing good is to be gained from doing that. Their view has not changed. The suggestion that this is a Palace-orchestrated smear campaign is deeply offensive and patently false.’

Mr Knauf, who worked as communications secretary to Harry and Meghan and now heads the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s charitable foundation, sent his 2018 email of complaint to Simon Case, then William’s private secretary and now the Cabinet Secretary at Downing Street. 

Mr Case, who is said to have had no managerial responsibility for Harry’s staff but took a keen interest in what was happening, passed it to human resources director Samantha Carruthers.

According to the report in The Times, Mr Knauf, who had already consulted Miss Carruthers, said in his email that she ‘agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious’.

Harry had ‘pleaded’ with Mr Knauf not to pursue the allegations, The Times claimed. Lawyers for the couple deny this happened.

The newspaper said it had been approached by former staff to tell their story before the couple’s interview with Miss Winfrey. They claimed that when Meghan was urged to support Palace staff she replied: ‘It’s not my job to coddle people.’

Meghan’s lawyers have vehemently denied she was a bully and claimed that one of the staff had left the job because of misconduct.

They said the former actress was ‘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’. They added: ‘Let’s just call this what it is – a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation.’ 

Meghan and Harry have been accused of being disrespectful to the Queen and her husband after it emerged they won’t delay the release of their Oprah Winfrey interview despite Prince Philip’s health problems.   

The couple are under huge pressure to ask Ms Winfrey to delay the broadcast in the US on Sunday night and across the world on Monday after it was revealed Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather underwent heart surgery this week. 

Critics including several MPs have warned them they are ‘badly advised’ to go along with the plan – but the couple insist that it is up to CBS, who don’t have ‘any intention’ to delay the show set to make them millions of dollars in sales and advertising revenue. 

A source close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex yesterday confirmed that the screening on Sunday night is still expected to go ahead, claiming the decision now lies with the broadcasters set to make millions from the two-hour show.

‘There are a lot of people who are going to talk about this until the programme airs, but the programming and all the rest of it is ultimately up to CBS, we’re not involved in that side of things’, the source said, adding: ‘As it stands, I don’t think there is any intention from the programme maker to change its air date’. 

And in a further indication that the programme will be going ahead in Britain, ITV yesterday shared the same clip that was released by CBS in the early hours of Thursday morning – but this time with the UK broadcaster’s branding in the bottom corner. 

There is growing anger over the broadcast going ahead, with royal experts, fans and MPs calling for its postponement.

Tory MP Bob Blackman told MailOnline: ‘The reality is I don’t think the interview is appropriate at all. The less they say the better, irrespective of the state of health of the Duke of Edinburgh. But to be doing a tell-all interview screened in the UK when he is in hospital – fortunately he appears to have had a successful operation – they are badly advised to put it mildly. None of these royal interviews have gone well… and I can’t see this going any better.’

Mr Blackman said ITV has ‘got a choice to make’. ‘I don’t think they should be showing it,’ he said. ‘Everyone’s sympathies should be for the Queen, a remarkable lady who has given a lifetime of service.’ Another Tory MP, who did not want to be named, said of Harry and Meghan: ‘One day I hope those two discover what it is really like to have problems.’

Deals have been struck across the globe for the rights to broadcast the Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview, ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group said.

The show has been licensed to be shown in more than 17 countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and the UK, as well as in sub-Saharan Africa, following its US premiere on Sunday. 

CBS Presents Oprah With Meghan And Harry will be screened on networks including Australia’s Network 10 and Canada’s Global TV.

Meghan Markle’s ‘furious rows’ with aides over designer freebies: Staff warned Duchess it breached royal protocol to keep free clothes at time of bullying allegations, sources claim 

By Harriet Johnston For MailOnline

Meghan Markle had furious rows with royal aides over freebie designer clothes sent to Kensington Palace at the time of bullying allegations, sources have claimed.

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, who is currently living in her $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara with Prince Harry, 36, and their son Archie, two, is known for her love of designer garments and rarely wears the same outfit twice.

Sources have now claimed that the Duchess clashed with royal aides when told she couldn’t keep boxes of designer garments sent to Kensington Palace after she was unveiled as Harry’s girlfriend in 2016.

Insiders said the royal exchanged heated words with staff when they told her it would be a breach of royal protocol to keep the freebies, with one telling The Sun: ‘As an actress it was perfectly acceptable to take freebies sent by fashion chains and designer labels.

Meghan Markle, 39, is alleged to have had furious rows with royal aides over freebie designer clothes sent to Kensington Palace, sources have claimed (pictured, wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown last week)

Meghan Markle, 39, is alleged to have had furious rows with royal aides over freebie designer clothes sent to Kensington Palace, sources have claimed (pictured, wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown last week)

‘But Meghan had to be told it was not the done thing when you are a member of the royal family.’

The Duchess is known for her love of designer brands, and her royal wardrobe is believed to have cost almost a million pounds. 

It was further boosted by decadent jewellery, which adds financial value to several of her outfits. 

The royal has rarely been seen wearing the same outfits twice, selecting new outfits from favourite designers such as Givenchy and Victoria Beckham on almost every appearance.

During her time as a senior royal, the mother-of-one wore a parade of designer outfits from brands such as Dior, Prada and Chanel and an array of expensive accessories

During her time as a senior royal, the mother-of-one wore a parade of designer outfits from brands such as Dior, Prada and Chanel and an array of expensive accessories 

During her time as a senior royal, the mother-of-one wore a parade of designer outfits from brands such as Dior, Prada and Chanel and an array of expensive accessories. 

After joining the royal family, the cost of Meghan’s clothes for work engagements were covered by Prince Charles through the budget he gives the couple from the Duchy of Cornwall. 

Her first year as a royal were her most expensive, despite only being a member of The Firm for seven months.

From a wedding watched by millions to her first royal tour, the Duchess had quite the year. 

For her final round of engagement last March, the royal wowed in breathing outfits and dazzling colours - wearing £26,400 ($34,569) worth of new clothing for the brief five day visit

For her final round of engagement last March, the royal wowed in breathing outfits and dazzling colours – wearing £26,400 ($34,569) worth of new clothing for the brief five day visit

MailOnline were the first to reveal how Meghan had worn clothing worth a staggering £117,934.62 ($149,515.27) during her 16-day Pacific tour with Prince Harry.

Her two wedding outfits cost almost half a million too – meaning throughout the year she splashed out £732,724.62. 

Throughout her first pregnancy, the Duchess made sure her bump was well dressed, with her maternity outfits totting up to an eye-watering £514,000 ($675,000). 

And for her final round of engagement last March, the royal  wowed in breathing outfits and dazzling colours – wearing £26,400 ($34,569) worth of new clothing for the brief five day visit.  

Meghan made her second public appearance visiting Reprezent Radio in a camel Smythe coat, a Marks & Spencer jumper and Burberry trousers in January 2018

Meghan made her second public appearance visiting Reprezent Radio in a camel Smythe coat, a Marks & Spencer jumper and Burberry trousers in January 2018

Now that the couple said they wanted to be financially independent, it is not clear who is picking up the bill for Meghan’s clothes, or whether the Duchess always pays full price for her clothing, or receives discounts from designers. 

The accusations arise as an aide claiming to have been bullied by Meghan welcomed the Queen’s investigation into her and Harry’s alleged mistreatment of staff and declared: ‘We will finally be able to tell the truth’.

The unnamed palace worker’s claim will pile even more pressure on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to give evidence to the probe after they were invited to take part by Buckingham Palace.

The Sussexes are accused of leaving behind a ‘lot of broken people’ with ‘young women broken by their behaviour’ and a source describing one member of their staff as ‘completely destroyed’ by the ordeal.

Lawyers for the Sussexes have vehemently denied they have bullied or mistreated staff. 

The Queen has now launched an unprecedented inquiry into allegations that Meghan and Harry bullied their staff – leaving royal employees ‘shaken’ by ‘unhappy memories’ being brought up about a ‘toxic period’ before the couple emigrated.

Devastating claims that the Duchess of Sussex inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on underlings and ‘drove them out’ were ‘very’ concerning, Buckingham Palace said.

The whistleblower told The Times: ‘We will finally be able to tell the truth. It’s not going to be easy, but this is very welcome and long overdue. We don’t have to be silent any more’. Lawyers for the Sussexes have vehemently denied they have bullied or mistreated staffIt came as Meghan accused the Royal Family of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry in their interview with Oprah Winfrey in a new teaser clip released just hours after Buckingham Palace launched a probe into her alleged bullying of staff.

How Meghan used Prince Philip’s nickname for the royal family ‘The Firm’ in bombshell Oprah interview as she accused them of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’

By Dan Sales For MailOnline 

When Prince Philip first coined ‘The Firm’ as a nickname for the Royal Family, he could have no idea 74 years later it would still be used – let alone in an interview criticising the monarchy.

But in the latest clip from Meghan Markle’s upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey the two-word moniker is used again for that purpose.

The Duchess of Sussex is asked by the US chat show queen how she thinks the Palace might feel about her ‘speaking her truth’.

She responds: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.’ 

Sources close to the couple claim she was referring to institution of Buckingham Palace, which includes senior courtiers and advisers, headed by the Queen, rather than individual royals. 

But Meghan’s choice of words may not have been deliberately chosen to do so, but channels the Duke’s own remarks when he wed into the House of Windsor. 

Meghan used the phrase 'The Firm' to describe the Royal Family in the upcoming interview

Meghan used the phrase ‘The Firm’ to describe the Royal Family in the upcoming interview

The Duke of Edinburgh coined the nickname The Firm when he married into the family in 1947

The Duke of Edinburgh coined the nickname The Firm when he married into the family in 1947

It was Philip who first uttered the phrase when he tied the knot with the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947, describing the wedding affectionately as ‘marrying into The Firm’.

But since then members of the Royal Family have appeared to have avoided repeating the term in public, even if they may have in private.

Newsweek had recently claimed that the Queen uses it herself behind closed doors.

It is widely misremembered that Princess Diana uses the term in her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir.

In fact she says ‘When I say many people I mean the establishment that I married into, because they have decided that I’m a non-starter.’ 

In fact the term is actually more frequently used by commentators than actual members of the family themselves.

It is oft cited that Princess Diana used the term in interview, but was in fact 'The Establishment'

It is oft cited that Princess Diana used the term in interview, but was in fact ‘The Establishment’

The modern Firm now: Edward, Sophie, Kate, William, The Queen, Charles, Camilla and Anne

The modern Firm now: Edward, Sophie, Kate, William, The Queen, Charles, Camilla and Anne

The reluctance may be due to the fact the simple two-word description can also be used to refer specifically to the key personnel within the Crown.

Eight senior royals are said to be within the ‘firm of eight’ chosen to represent the family.

They are William and Kate, Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, The Queen herself and Princess Anne.

A photo of the group before Christmas left little doubt of their significance within the household.

But despite their own hesitancy in using the label to describe themselves, the easy identifier for the royals has endured through the decades.

Roya Nikkhah, Royal Correspondent at The Sunday Times, told Radio 4 yesterday: ‘The extraordinary phrase in that clip is that she is saying The Firm were actively perpetuating falsehoods about her and Harry.

‘I think the use of that phrase The Firm, it can include both the principals, members of the Royal Family, and members of the household so it remains to be seen who she is going to aim her fire at.’

Penny Juror, the royal biographer, even named her 2005 book The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor.

The description of the book says: ‘The House of Windsor is a big business, though one with more ups and downs than the stock market.

‘Prince Philip calls it ‘The Firm’ and all the royal executives and their powerful associates are supposed to make every effort to avoid even a hint of scandal that could diminish the reputation of the family business.’

And the name has even retrospectively placed into the Royals’ fictionalised accounts of history.

Colin Firth in the King’s Speech declares ‘We’re not a family, we’re a firm.’

With its high-profile debut on Oprah’s primetime interview this Sunday, it looks sure to remain in use for much longer.

#TeamMeghan vs #TeamQueen: Rival fans of the Duchess and Royal Family fight war of words on Twitter with just three days to go before bombshell CBS Oprah interview is aired

By Mark Duell for MailOnline 

Supporters of the Duchess of Sussex are using the hashtags #TeamMeghan and #SussexSquad as they go up against Royal Family fans online under #TeamQueen.

Royal watchers around the world have been reacting on Twitter this week to the war of words between Buckingham Palace in London and Meghan Markle in California. 

Some backing Meghan claim the palace ‘timed their damage control so poorly any moron can see through it’ ahead of the Oprah Winfrey interview on Sunday.

Other fans of the Duchess accused the Royal Family of pulling off ‘stunts’ and a ‘smear campaign’, while another said: ‘Super Cali goes ballistic, RF are atrocious.’

But those backing the Royal Family tweeted about the ‘poor Queen’ and claimed they ‘don’t trust a single word that comes out of Meghan’s mouth or Harry’s now’. 

It comes as the Duchess said she could not be expected to stay silent if the Royal Family played a part in ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Prince Harry. 

Her comments to Oprah were revealed hours after Buckingham Palace said it had launched an investigation into claims that the Duchess bullied former royal staff. 

A clip of Meghan making the dramatic remarks to Oprah was released in the early hours of yesterday morning, in which she added ‘a lot … has been lost already’.

The couple’s interview with the US television host is expected to lift the lid on their short period as working royals before they stepped down for a life in America.

It will first be shown on CBS in the US this Sunday night at 1am UK time, before being broadcast in Britain by ITV in a two-hour special on Monday evening from 9pm.

In the 30-second clip released on social media, Oprah asks the duchess: ‘How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?’  

She replies: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.

‘And, if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, I … there is a lot that has been lost already.’

‘The Firm’ is widely considered to be shorthand for the institution of the royal family.

Past and present employees of Buckingham Palace are to be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for Meghan, after it was alleged she drove out two personal assistants and that staff were ‘humiliated’ on several occasions.

The Times newspaper has reported that the duchess ‘destroyed’ one member of staff and another was left in tears before she departed. Meghan’s lawyers have vehemently denied she is a bully.

There has long been speculation about the atmosphere in the Sussex household, after a number of staff left, and the newspaper chronicles what it describes as ‘turmoil’ within palace walls.

Underlying Meghan’s actions, the paper reports, was the view of a number of sources that she wanted to be a ‘victim’ so her ‘unbearable experience’ would convince Harry they had to leave the UK – something her lawyers have denied.

The monarchy’s ‘men in grey suits’ have been accused of being aware of the alleged actions of the duchess and of doing ‘absolutely nothing to protect people’.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: ‘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.’

Meghan and Harry will not be part of the process as they are not staff, and it is understood the Palace hopes to start the investigation soon.

Lawyers for the duke and duchess said the Sussexes believed staff were comfortable and happy. 

The Queen, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the Buckingham Palace balcony in July 2018

However, Jason Knauf, the couple’s then communications secretary, made a bullying complaint in October 2018 in an apparent attempt to force Buckingham Palace to protect staff.

A source suggested the attitude to the allegations was more about making them ‘go away’ rather than ‘addressing’ them, with the paper claiming that Mr Knauf’s complaint was never progressed.

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.’



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button