In early March, all eyes were on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as the highly anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey was about to take place, but it was The Times that caught everyone by surprise days ahead.
The British paper published stories about how the Duchess of Sussex allegedly bullied her staff, with the report going on to detail how Meghan wore $750,000 blood diamond earrings during the royal tour in Fiji gifted from Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was responsible for ordering the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
With the timing being too coincidental, what Harry and Meghan found “troubling” was it came from “courtiers inside the institution” that were “deliberately leaking information to discredit them” and “actively undermine” the couple, the new epilogue of Finding Freedom claims.
“The newspaper had been provided leaked emails from an unnamed source, someone who would have only had access to this information if they worked for the royal family,” the book adds of the email then communications director Jason Knauf sent Kensington Palace Private Secretary Simon Case which raised attention of the bullying claims.
It was this “attempt to discredit” Meghan “by those who were once part of the couple’s inner palace circle” that reaffirmed Harry and Meghan that “they had made the right decision to leave” their roles as working royals.
The Times contacted reps for Harry and Meghan in a request for comment less than a day after the Oprah interview was announced. Claims her lawyers have adamantly denied.
“Here we go again. It feels like certain individuals at the Palace were doing their very best to undermine and discredit anything they worried the couple may or may not say during the interview,” one friend said.
Meghan’s close friend, Janina Gavankar, also spoke at the time to “GMB” about the leak and the source giving the paper information about the earrings.
“They didn’t hide the fact. It was, without doubt, done intentionally to discredit the duchess,” Gavankar said.
The palace announced they would open an investigation into the bullying claims, something Harry and Meghan were open to, with a source saying they hoped it would “shed light on the reality of these rumours.”
As nearly half a year later, no findings have been announced, with reports suggesting a verdict isn’t likely until next year.