Royals

Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Meghan Markle Quickly Responded To Bullying Accusations Made By Former Palace Staffers

"Particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself."

After a former Kensington Palace aide went to The Times with a claim against her, Meghan Markle responded to the bullying accusation with an important reminder that she, herself, has been a target of bullying.

The Times initially reported on March 2 that Kensington Palace staffers wanted to offer their own "version" of the Duchess of Sussex's time as a senior working member of the royal family. This version apparently included a complaint that had been made by the couple's former communications secretary Jason Knauf in 2018, claiming to The Times that there had been several instances of bullying that eventually led to two assistants leaving their jobs.

This isn't the first time Markle, the first woman of color in the royal family, has been accused of bullying during her time as a working royal. In 2019, The Daily Mail shared reports from palace "sources" claiming that confrontations with the Duchess of Sussex had left them "shaking."

Despite all of these attacks, Markle has largely remained silent in the past — until now. In response to the latest bullying accusation, a spokesperson for Prince Harry and Markle shared a statement with royal correspondent Omid Scobie saying she was "saddened" by these accusations.

"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," the statement read. "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."

Meghan Markle responds to claims that she was a bully with a reminder that she has been bullied.

In the year since she and Prince Harry stepped away from their work as senior members of the royal family, they have continued their charitable work with a particular focus on bullying. Prince Harry wrote an essay for Fast Company in 2020 about the divide caused by social media. Markle was, after all, frequently attacked and harassed by the British tabloids after her 2018 marriage to Prince Harry. So much so that the couple have both issued lawsuits against two tabloids for breach of privacy. They won those lawsuits and announced plans to donate the money won in their court cases to an anti-bullying charity.

The timing of these accusations was called out by Markle's spokesperson. "Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation," the couple's spokesperson told The Times, as reported by the Daily Express. "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."

Markle and Prince Harry are scheduled to sit down for a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, their first interview together since their historic move to California.