As close friends of Meghan Markle’s continue to rally behind the duchess amid accusations she previously bullied royal staffers, more details are coming to light about how aides viewed Prince Harry during their engagement.
According to a new report, palace staffers who spent time around the Duke and Duchess of Sussex prior to their 2018 royal wedding nicknamed Harry “the hostage.”
The nickname was allegedly the result of a tense moment that took place between the couple and staffers, who refused to allow Markle to take the tiara she planned to wear during the wedding with her to a hair appointment, The Telegraph reports, citing sources.
An insider claimed to the outlet that one of Queen Elizabeth II’s aides received a rebuke from Harry once he learned Markle’s request was denied. The source said the aide “told Harry it was priceless and couldn’t suddenly be handed over at short notice,” the outlet reports, via The Sun.
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Prince Harry allegedly responded: “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.”
Reps for Prince Harry, Markle and Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
A source went on to claim that Markle allegedly played victim. “She was constantly looking for reasons to say she had been deprived,” an insider is quoted telling the outlet. “Also, she wanted drama from the very beginning.”
These new claims come just days after Buckingham Palace confirmed it will launch a probe into accusations that Markle bullied staffers during her time as a working royal. Markle’s team has refuted the claims.
They also come just one day prior to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey. The couple is expected to discuss everything from marriage, philanthropic work to public scrutiny in the CBS special airing Sunday night.
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On Tuesday, the Times in the U.K. alleged that Markle faced a bullying complaint made by one of her close advisers.
“We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the palace said in a statement Wednesday.
“Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article,” the statement continued. “Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.”
“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,” the statement concluded.
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Markle’s team has refuted the claims, saying in a statement shared with Fox News that 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,” the statement added.
According to The Times, the complaint was first made in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, the couple’s former communications secretary. The complaint alleged that the former American actress drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third staff member.
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The outlet reported that Knauf submitted the complaint in an effort to protect palace staffers who alleged they were being bullied by Markle. Some claimed they were even reduced to tears.
Multiple close friends and former colleagues of Markle’s have defended her character in recent days, including TV director Silver Tree publishing a lengthy statement Friday describing the duchess as a friend who “insists on always hearing the details of your life, your day, your kids life, your kids day, before hers.”