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March 4, 2021 2 min
Amid claims Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, bullied certain staff during her time as a senior royal, it's now been revealed how she responded when she was informed aides were upset with her behaviour.
In a bombshell report by The Times of London this week, the Duchess of Sussex was accused of bullying several members of her staff prior to, and after, her 2018 royal wedding with Prince Harry.
Buckingham Palace has since announced its HR team will investigate the claims.
The Times claims the treatment spanned back to before the couple were engaged in late 2017.
Shortly after they announced their impending nuptials in November that year, a senior aide reportedly gave both Meghan and Harry a dressing down about their treatment of staff.
According to the publication, Meghan is said to have replied: "It's not my job to coddle people."
The couple's communications assistant at the time, Jason Knauf, reported the behaviour in October 2018, the same month Meghan and Harry embarked on their tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
Knauf alleged that Meghan's treatment of her staff had already driven two personal assistants out of the household, and that the Duchess was actively "undermining the confidence" of a third.
He wrote an email to Prince William's private secretary, Simon Case, stressing that both he and the palace's head of HR Samantha Carruthers thought "the situation was very serious" and he was "concerned that nothing will be done".
"I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year," Knauf wrote.
"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 report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y."
Knauf stopped working for the Sussexes a short time later, and is now chief executive of William and Kate's Royal Foundation.
The Sussexes have accused the palace of a "calculated smear campaign" against them ahead of their highly publicised tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, which is set to air on Monday.
Their spokesperson told 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."
The spokesperson added: "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."
text by Lexie Cartwright, news.com.au
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