MEGHAN Markle’s year with the Royal Family was besieged with drama – from a rift with Kate Middleton to her decision with Prince Harry to quit the Firm.
And even after Megxit, the sensational claims about her time in the UK continued to unravel – including the allegation that the Duchess of Sussex had bullied palace staff.
It was just days before Meghan appeared in an explosive interview with Oprah that allegations surfaced that the duchess had bullied staff, with claims one was even left shaking in fear.
It was revealed that in October 2018, the couple’s then press secretary Jason Knauf emailed a superior, saying: “I am very concerned that the duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X [name removed] was totally unacceptable.”
The allegations, which had remained a secret for more than two years, were revealed in The Times in March 2021 – days before the couple’s Oprah interview.
Buckingham Palace then announced the claims would be reviewed, with the Queen privately paying herself to investigate the claims.
However, last night – more than a year on, it has been confirmed the review has been completed – with the outcomes never to be made public for confidentiality reasons.
Here we take a look at seven questions that may never be answered…
Did Meghan bully staff?
The palace’s investigation kicked off after royal insiders alleged Meghan caused “real stress and trauma” because of the way she dealt with her staff.
Meghan’s reps quickly moved to quash the allegations, suggesting she was a victim of a “smear campaign” by aides.
Her lawyer later appeared on an episode of the BBC’s controversial documentary The Princes And The Press to speak out about the incident.
Asked if Meghan was a bully, Jenny Afia, of firm Schillings, replied: “Absolutely not.”
But after the allegations came to light, the Palace announced it would launch an investigation, warning it would “not tolerate any bullying and harassment” and was “very concerned by the allegations”.
The probe has been wrapped in a shroud of secrecy ever since.
And since its findings will be kept private we never will find out whether or not the Duchess bullied palace staff.
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Who felt bullied by Meghan?
Meghan was accused of bullying in an email from her former press secretary, Jason Knauf, which was sent in October 2018 and later leaked to The Times.
A pair of senior staff members came forward early last year claiming they had been bullied by Meghan.
And another former aide complained they had been personally “humiliated” by the duchess.
But as their findings will not be published – we will never find out who claimed they felt bullied by Meghan.
A senior Palace source said: “We recognise that those people who participated in the review participated on understanding there would be confidentiality in discussions with an independent legal firm.
“We have a duty to respect that confidentiality.
Has Meghan faced any punishment? And will she?
Details on whether or not Meghan has, or will, face any punishment have not been released.
In many places of work, people accused of bullying may be asked to complete a HR course or training.
However, Meghan and Harry are no longer part of the firm.
We exclusively told how Prince Harry and Meghan were set to cut ties with the Royal Family and move abroad to start their new life together.
And just a day later, the senior royals announced on Instagram their plan to “step back” from their duties and become financially independent.
Was the tiara row with Angela Kelly part of the problem?
But she clashed with Meghan helping her choose a tiara for their 2018 wedding day, according to royal sources.
They claim Meghan initially wanted a tiara that featured emeralds.
But the future Duke and Duchess of Sussex were unhappy when told her first choice was impossible, as no one knew exactly where it came from.
An insider said at the time: “There was a very heated exchange that prompted the Queen to speak to Harry.
“She said, ‘Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she’s given by me’.”
In the end, the future royal wore Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau made in 1932 for the big day.
It’s not known if Meghan and Harry’s alleged tantrum was probed in the palace’s investigation – and it looks like we never will.
Were Kate and William involved?
As the findings of the investigation will be kept private, it looks like Brits will not find out whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were involved in the bully probe.
Last year a rift between the pair and the Sussexes became clear as royal insiders dished about an argument between Kate and Meghan.
It was reported at the time that royal newbie Meghan had left Kate in tears over her demands for Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress.
Rumours of a rift between the duchesses swirled after royal sources revealed emotional Kate ended up weeping following a “stressful” dress fitting — just weeks before Meghan married Prince Harry in May 2018.
But the fitting reportedly did not go according to her demands.
In 2020 it was claimed the rift was over whether bridesmaids should follow royal protocol by wearing tights, which Meghan disagreed with.
Royal sources said the pressure of the “stressful” fitting became too much and that Kate was left shaken and in tears.
Was Meghan involved in the probe?
However, we do not know if they were involved in other ways.
As the investigation is private we do not know if they made any sort of statement to be considered.
Will there now be changes on how to deal with complaints about royals in the future?
Although the results of the inquiry are top secret, the investigation did lead to changes in Buckingham Palace.
Royal sources said the palace made adjustments “improving the policies and procedures” in its HR department.
And last night Buckingham Palace added: “The objectives have been satisfied because lessons have been learned.”
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But exactly which lessons, policies and procedures we will never know.
Everyone interviewed by the investigation has been told the findings, it is believed.