Reporter denies Prince William approved leak of Meghan Markle bullying claims

BBC documentary pours cold water on claims Prince William locked in briefing war with Prince Harry

Tim Wyatt
Tuesday 30 November 2021 11:28
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<p>Meghan and Harry dramatically quit the royal family in 2020 shortly after the birth of their son Archie </p>

Meghan and Harry dramatically quit the royal family in 2020 shortly after the birth of their son Archie

Allegations Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, bullied staff at Kensington Palace were not leaked with the approval of her brother-in-law Prince William, a BBC documentary has reported.

The journalist who broke the story Meghan had been the subject of a formal HR complaint while a member of the Royal Household in 2018 told the documentary Prince William had not authorised palace staff to speak to him.

The explosive bullying claims emerged only a few days before Prince Harry and Meghan’s famous interview with Oprah Winfrey was broadcast.

In it, Meghan said she had been so isolated at times among the royals she had considered suicide, and also reported one unnamed senior royal had asked how dark her son Archie’s skin would be.

When the BBC presenter asked Times journalist Valentine Low, who wrote the initial bullying story, if the people who leaked it to him had the “tacit approval” of the Duke of Cambridge, he replied: “Absolutely not.”

An earlier episode of the documentary had included claims by Omid Scobie, a royal reporter who wrote a biography of the Sussexes, that royal aides had supplied off-the-record anti-Meghan briefings to the press.

However, Harry and Meghan’s lawyer, Jenny Afia, told the documentary the bullying story in The Times was inaccurate but almost impossible to refute.

“It is really hard to prove a negative. If you haven’t bullied anyone, how do you show that you haven’t ?” she said.

Kensington Palace launched an investigation into the allegations when they first emerged earlier this year, which has yet to conclude.

And a joint written statement from Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House given to the BBC criticised the national broadcaster for covering the tangle of rumour and intrigue surrounding the two princes and the press.

“Too often overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility,” the statement said.

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