The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry, and Meghan Markle, were faced with quite the scandal when she was alleged to be bullying staff members, an allegation that her office strongly refuted.
In 2018, a senior palace aide made allegations against the Duchess of Sussex, 39, saying that she was bullying the palace staff during her time at the Kensington Palace as a working royal.
The Times reported that the claim was made by Jason Kauff, who was the couple's former communications secretary. Kauff claimed that Markle undermined the confidence of a staff member and drove two more out of the household.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 09, 2020 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Kauff is said to have submitted the complaint to protect the staff from further bullying from the duchess, saying that one of the staffers was even reduced to tears, with another saying that he could not stop shaking after a confrontation with Markle.
"Meg has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths."
However, a spokesperson for the Sussexes is adamant that the allegations were a smear campaign based on harmful and misleading misinformation. The spokesperson says that they are disappointed by the accusations.
In a statement to the Times, the spokesperson claims that it is no coincidence that the defamatory portrayal of the duchess comes only a few days before she and Harry were due to take an honest and open interview with Oprah Winfrey.
She says that she found the time she spends with them very fulfilling.
The interview was expected to cover Markle's life stepping into royalty, her philanthropic work, her marriage and motherhood journey, as well as the public pressure she has had to face as a working royal. They would also be speaking about their move to California and their growing family.
The Buckingham palace is set to launch an investigation into the allegations even though the Sussex team is determined to prove that the timing of the allegations was nothing but coincidental. A source spoke to BBC, saying:
"It's a fairly extensive list of things that have been pulled together. The timing is not coincidental."
Amidst the bullying allegations, Harry and Markle's chief of staff, Catherine St-Laurent, has, however, come out to say that working with and for the couple has been an incredible experience. She says the couple is very creative and talented.
St-Laurent worked with the Bill and Melinda Foundation before crossing over to the Archewell Foundation in March 2020, after the royal couple stepped down and moved to California. She says that she is grateful for the chance to work with them in steering the foundation forward.
She also adds that she is confident that the Sussex's have every potential to every socially influential and that she is looking forward to being a part of that. She says that she found the time she spends with them very fulfilling.
St-Laurent took over the position of Chief of Staff and was also to serve as the Executive Director of Archewell Foundation. She later transitioned to the role of the Foundations advisor.
The Queen wrote confirming that the duke and duchess of Sussex will not be returning to continue with their duties and responsibilities to the Royal family and the public after their exit from the Palace.
Harry and Markle are adamant about serving the public and insisted that they remain committed to service and duty to the people of the UK and around the world and continue to support organizations despite being stripped of their official duties.