Buckingham Palace will investigate allegations Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, bullied staff during her time as a royal in London.
Meghan has been accused of bullying staff and “destroying” one individual, ahead of her “tell-all” television interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The Times newspaper reported allegations that during her time as a working royal, Meghan drove out two personal assistants and staff were “humiliated” on several occasions.
Buckingham Palace said it was “very concerned” about the newspaper report detailing allegations of bullying from the former royal staff.
“Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Wednesday (UK time).
“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 will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace, it added.
There has long been speculation about the atmosphere in the Sussex household after a number of staff left, and the newspaper chronicles what it describes as “turmoil” within palace walls.
Underlying Meghan’s actions, the paper claims, was the view of a number of sources that she wanted to be a “victim” so her “unbearable experience” would convince Harry they had to leave the UK – something her lawyers have denied.
The monarchy’s “men in grey suits” have been accused of being aware of the alleged actions of the duchess and of doing “absolutely nothing to protect people”.
But Meghan’s spokesman said: “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.”
Prince William brought forward plans to split his office from Harry’s staff after he was made aware of the allegations, it was reported.
Jason Knauf, the Sussexes’ then communications secretary, made a bullying complaint in October 2018 in an apparent attempt to force Buckingham Palace to protect staff.
Questions will be asked about the timing of the allegations, made a few days before Meghan and Harry’s interview with Winfrey is aired on Sunday in the US.
Royal aides will be bracing themselves for revelations from the couple after the chat show host said in a clip from the interview that nothing was “off-limits”.
But the allegations of bullying will point the spotlight at the duchess and away from the institution of the monarchy they left.