Meghan ‘plague’ inquiry buried: Palace inquiry findings will NEVER be made public

Buckingham Palace has effectively buried a report on allegations of bullying by the Duchess of Sussex.

Royal officials admitted for the first time yesterday that the findings will never be made public.

A source said last night: “People suspected it was going to be buried, and now it looks like it happened.” The Daily Mail understands that even those who took part in the investigation have not been told what the outcome will be.

Palace officials only wanted to confirm that their investigation had been completed and that “recommendations about our policies and procedures” had been implemented.

Royal officials announced in March last year that they were opening an investigation into claims that Meghan’s “disparaging” behavior while a working member of the royal family drove two female personal assistants from the household and “undermined the trust of a third.”

Controversial: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during last year’s interview with Oprah Winfrey

Staff are said to have been left in tears and feeling ‘traumatised’ – some compared their condition to post-traumatic stress.

The Royal Family hired an outside law firm, privately paid by the family, to investigate the claims in a move that some predicted would increase tensions between Harry and Meghan and “the institution.”

The allegations have always been vigorously denied by the Duchess, whose lawyers at the time described them as a “calculated smear campaign.” They did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Last year, a palace spokesperson made it clear that the details of the allegations — brought to the attention of senior domestic workers at the time by concerned Harry and Meghan’s press secretary Jason Knauf — would not be investigated.

But they said they would investigate how the “historical allegations of bullying” were being handled by officials and whether changes should be made to their HR policies and procedures as a result.

A spokesperson confirmed that “if” those findings were made public, they would be included in this year’s Sovereign Grant report – the official annual overview of the Queen’s public finances and the running of her household.

But when she announced the report yesterday, her Master of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said of the investigation: ‘There is nothing in the report about this. As we said last year, this work was done privately and no Sovereign Grant money was spent on it.

Buckingham Palace effectively buried a report on bullying allegations by the Duchess of Sussex (seen with Harry at Kensington Palace)

Buckingham Palace effectively buried a report on bullying allegations by the Duchess of Sussex (seen with Harry at Kensington Palace)

‘The review has been completed and recommendations about our (HR) policy and procedures have been taken up. But we won’t comment further.’

The Mail understands that while the review was completed several months ago, the small handful of former royal staff invited to participate only recently discovered it had been liquidated.

And they are not told what the findings are, or what changes have been made to HR procedures.

“Since those who participated did this at great personal and reputational risk to themselves, the fact that they were not even told what the findings are is unfathomable,” said a source familiar with the trial.

“I’m sure they will be deeply saddened, but perhaps not completely surprised given the way things have been handled. The household seems terrified of upsetting or provoking Harry and Meghan.’

The issue was raised at a Sovereign Grant briefing which revealed:

  • The Queen’s annual spending rose 17 per cent to £102.4 million in 2021/22, forcing officials to dive into savings;
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now ‘financially independent’, and royal sources say this is ‘a great credit’;
  • Sources said Prince Charles would never accept suitcases of cash again after an argument over charitable donations;
  • The most expensive royal trip of the past year was the flight of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Caribbean, which cost £226,000;
  • Officials insisted they keep the Royal Train, despite it being used just six times last year at an average cost of £34,307;
  • Property maintenance rose by £14.4m to £63.9m as the ten-year project to refurbish Buckingham Palace reaches a pivotal stage.

Reports of Meghan’s alleged harassment of staff surfaced just before her explosive Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry early last year. The palace said it took such claims seriously and promised to investigate.

The allegations have always been vigorously denied by the Duchess, whose lawyers described them at the time as a

The allegations have always been vigorously denied by the Duchess, whose lawyers at the time described them as a “calculated smear campaign.” They did not respond to requests for comment yesterday. In the photo: Lawyer Jenny Afia talks about the documentary of The Princes And The Press

Last year, however, the Mail noted that only a small number of royal staff – past and present – had been spoken to and that staff feared it was already being ‘kicked into the tall grass’. Those interviewed included two of Meghan’s former personal assistants, another senior female staff member and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who was then working as Prince William’s private secretary.

When asked why the report on alleged bullying had not even been circulated privately, a senior royal aide claimed yesterday: “It must be recognized that HR matters involving individuals are private and the individuals who participated in the assessment … right have on that confidentiality.

‘Where improvements had to be made to policies and procedures, they have been implemented. And those who participated in the review have been informed that the review has been completed and contains recommendations. Due to the confidentiality of the discussions, we have not communicated the detailed recommendations.’

Palace prioritized peace regardless of the cost to their staff

Analysis by Rebecca English Royal Editor

Allegations that the Duchess of Sussex would systematically attack and bully female staff have been deeply disturbing – and problematic – for the royal family since they aired early last year.

It was the first time that a member of the Royal Family had been the subject of a formal complaint to senior management about their alleged behavior – and there was no formal HR policy to address it.

The fact that the allegations had first been made three years earlier with no apparent action being taken also uncomfortably accentuated the depth of the palace’s paralysis over the matter.

The delicacy of the situation was compounded by the state of relations between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the royal family.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leave the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral during the platinum anniversary earlier this month

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leave the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral during the platinum anniversary earlier this month

In the wake of their bitter departures as working royals and the explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, palace officials were simply unable to predict how this most defensive couple would react. This is why they decided to focus their investigation on how the allegations against Meghan were handled, as opposed to the content of the claims themselves, the truth or falsehood of which has not been objectively established.

It seemed like a neat solution, and one designed specifically to prevent the Duchess and her legal team from having a say in what was being treated as a purely procedural matter.

Now officials have confirmed what the Daily Mail suggested might happen in December last year – that their entire review will be buried and never made public.

And as I’m divulging today, even the small handful of staff consulted during the trial have not been told what the palace plans to do to tighten their procedures in the future.

Senior palace officials such as the Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young – who, according to multiple sources, has also often been on the receiving end of the Sussex’s worst wrath – wanted to do the right thing, but have clearly prioritized peace with Harry and Meghan over their workforce.

It has led some in the household to ask the question: Is the way your staff are treated and protected really matter less than the wrath of the Sussexes?

For many, the answer is clearly ‘yes’.

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