Buckingham Palace has responded to allegations of bullying from two former royal aides who worked for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex before they stepped back from royal duties.
The statement revealed that the palace is launching an investigation into the claims, first reported by London newspaper The Times. The claims include accusing Duchess Meghan of harassing palace employees. The Duchess of Sussex’s reps have already shut down the claims and accused Buckingham Palace of encouraging the story to be published as a means “to peddle a wholly false narrative” ahead of the royal couple’s highly anticipated tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, which is set to air this Sunday on CBS.
“We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” began the statement. “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.”
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“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,” said representatives for the duchess in a statement to the paper yesterday. “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 statement shared with BAZAAR.com, reps for the Sussexes expressed that Meghan is “saddened” by what they call an “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.”
The statement added, “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.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.