Buckingham Palace will be hiring an outside law firm to investigate the suspicious bullying accusation against Meghan Markle, the Sunday Times of London reports — a move all expect to further escalate tensions between the Duchess of Sussex and the royal family.
The dispute began earlier this month, when the Times of London published a report accusing Markle of bullying palace aides during her short tenure as a senior royal. In response, a spokesman for the couple denounced the report as part of “a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation.” And indeed, its timing raised eyebrows: It emerged just days before Markle and Prince Harry’s no-holds-barred interview with Oprah, which the palace was loath to see air.
In response, Buckingham Palace, in a formal statement, announced that it was “clearly very concerned” about the allegations and would be launching an investigation. Now, the palace is hiring an external firm to conduct said investigation, which will seek the cooperation of current and former staffers. (According to a spokesman for Buckingham Palace, the palace “will not be providing a public commentary” on it.)
The urgency and seriousness with which the palace is approaching the bullying accusation stand in stark contrast to the royal family’s response to the explosive claims made by Meghan and Harry in their interview — in particular, that an unnamed member of the royal family raised concerns about the color of Archie’s skin. The queen’s statement about those claims was strikingly brief; she called the allegation of racism “concerning” but said that it would “be addressed by the family privately.” Meanwhile, the palace continues to protect Prince Andrew, who had close ties to child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and has been accused of having sex with a minor on multiple occasions.