If Buckingham Palace were to publish the findings of their review of allegations of intimidation made by staff against Meghan Markle, there would be ‘bloodshed on all sides’, according to a new episode Newsweekit is The royal report podcast.
The discussion between chief royal correspondent Jack Royston and royal commentator Kristen Meinzer about the review comes after reports claimed in June that the palace had decided not to make its findings available to the public.
The bullying allegations made against Meghan by former Kensington Palace staff were launched following the leaking of an email exchange between former palace press secretary Jason Knauf and the private secretary of the Prince William. The leak came in the days before Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey aired.
Knauf’s leaked email, which was first published by a UK-based newspaper The temperaturewas sent the day after Harry and Meghan toured the South Pacific in 2018, just five months after the couple married in May.
“I am very concerned that the Duchess may have bullied two APs out of the household over the past year,” the email read. “The treatment of X [name removed] was totally unacceptable.”
“The Duchess seems determined to always have someone in her sights. She bullies Y [name removed] and seeking to undermine his trust,” the email continues. “We have received report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y [name removed].”
Meghan’s team posted an immediate response to The temperature saying: “Let’s just call it what it is – a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful information. We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of the Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a news outlet.”
Buckingham Palace, however, took the allegations seriously and announced their intention to open a review into the situation.
“We are clearly very concerned about the allegations of The temperature following claims by former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the palace said in a statement. “As a result, our human resources team will review the circumstances described in the article. Staff involved at that time, including those who have left the home, will be asked to participate to see if any lessons can be learned.”
The results of this review were to be published in the Sovereign Grant report for fiscal year 2021-2022 later this month, but The Sunday Times recently reported that this is no longer the case.
On the podcast, Royston voiced his belief that the release of the exam results would prove to reflect badly on all sides.
“I think if this report were released it would be a complete bloodbath on all sides and no one would come out of it safe,” he said.
“I think Buckingham Palace will have looked at this and thought ‘we’re just going to look awful – this is going to make us absolutely awful’ and if every fact and allegation came out I just think it would be a fight full of mud and there would be mud all over everyone.”
For Royston, the wording of Buckingham Palace’s initial statement was also important.
“I think what the palace would say is that there was never an investigation. Everyone in the media called it an investigation, but they can’t investigate Meghan,” he said. he explained to Meinzer. “You can’t launch an HR disciplinary procedure against a member of the royal family, it’s just not a thing, they are not employees of the institution. So this was a review of what happened to see what the outcome was.”
The bullying allegations against Meghan are said to have all occurred within the Kensington Palace home. For Royston, this is significant because the review was undertaken by Buckingham Palace which operates separately on behalf of the Queen, whereas at the time Kensington Palace was jointly run by the Sussexes and the Cambridges.
“I think if you knew all the facts, a lot of it would be defined by ‘moral chaos,'” Royston said of the working environment within the Kensington Palace house at the time in question. .
“When you have a situation in a company or an institution where there is a toxic culture that has developed, you get things done from all sides by everyone because it is a product of the toxic culture and I think that’s part of the reason why the palace wants to shut up,” he said.
As for the review’s findings, however, Royston doesn’t believe the claims are without merit.
Regarding comments made on British television by Meghan’s friend Janina Gavankar who claimed to know why a key staff member of the allegations had left the palace and that it was due to ‘gross misconduct’ rather than any bullying, Royston said:
“She went on TV with Meghan’s acquaintance. That alone tells you something was going on at Kensington Palace at the time, it was a complete mess.”
He concluded by saying, “I think the reason this hasn’t been released is because the whole situation was a trash can fire.”