Buckingham Palace to investigate bullying claims from former staff of Harry and Meghan

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LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) – Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday it was “very concerned” and would investigate allegations in the Times newspaper of bullying made by former staff of Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

The report comes days before the broadcast of an interview that the couple, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have given to U.S. chat show host Oprah Winfrey in which they will spell out why they quit their royal roles.

They have already issued a statement to reject the claims.

The paper, citing unnamed sources, said one of the couple’s former top aides had made a complaint about bullying by Meghan which had led to two assistants being forced from their jobs.

Reuters could not independently verify the report.

“We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

The Royal Household “does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace,” the Palace said.

It said its HR team would look into the allegations made in the article and that current and former members of staff involved at the time would be invited to participate.

Meghan and Harry, who married in May 2018, stepped back from their official duties in March last year to forge new careers and a life in California.

That decision was confirmed last month, when they also handed over all their royal patronages.

They said the move was fuelled in part by press intrusion.

“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,” a spokeswoman for the couple said in response to the Times story.

“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.” (Reporting by Paul Sandle and Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Mike Collett-White)

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