Meghan bullying allegations: Everything we know

  • Meghan was first accused of bullying employees days before her interview with Oprah would air

  • The Sussexes strenuously denied the claims and Buckingham Palace launched a review

  • As their documentary release approaches, an anonymous former employee has spoken out again

  • Read on to find out everything we know about the bullying allegations against Meghan...

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala at the Hilton Midtown in New York on December 6, 2022. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan arriving at the Ripple of Hope awards last night. (Getty Images)

Harry and Meghan's Netflix documentary will be released tomorrow and looks set to contain claims about the "planting" and "leaking" of stories about the couple in the media.

"There's a hierarchy of the family", Harry says in the official trailer released earlier this week. "You know there's leaking, but also planting of stories."

The Duchess of Sussex's lawyer, Jenny Afia, adds: "There was a war against Meghan to suit other people's agenda."

Netflix has said the documentary will include commentary from historians who will provide context on "the Royal Family’s relationship with the press" and the "the state of the British Commonwealth today".

Watch: Harry & Meghan full trailer

The six-part series will be released in two parts. Three episodes will drop on Netflix tomorrow, and the rest in a week.

It has yet to be confirmed by the duke and duchess what "leaked" stories will be discussed in the series. However, one of the most contentious claims made about Meghan during her time in the royal family was that she bullied members of staff in the household.

The allegation, strongly denied by Meghan, appeared in The Times just five days before their bombshell interview with Oprah. Yahoo News UK runs through what we know about the claim.

2 March, 2021

The Times reported that, in 2018, the Duchess had "faced a bullying complaint made by one of her closest advisers during her time at Kensington Palace".

The newspaper said sources had "approached [the outlet] because they felt that only a partial version had emerged of Meghan’s two years as a working member of the Royal Family and they wished to tell their side".

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Jason Knauf, Communications Secretary to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, attends the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Jason Knauf attended the wedding of Harry and Meghan Markle, just months before he wrote an email calling Meghan a bully. (Getty Images)

The complaint, reportedly made by the couple's then communication secretary, Jason Knauf, alleged that Meghan had driven out "two personal assistants and was undermining the confidence of a third".

A palace aide described Meghan's behaviour as "more like emotional cruelty and manipulation, which I guess could also be called bullying". The paper claimed that Knauf’s complaint was never progressed.

A spokesperson for the Sussexes strenuously denied the claims and their lawyer said the newspaper was "being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative".

Meghan, they said, was "saddened by this latest attack on her character" and that the claims were nothing more than "a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation".

3 March, 2021

Buckingham Palace announced a day later it would launch an investigation into claims.

Past and present employees were to be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for Meghan.

In a statement the palace said: "We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

"The Royal Household ... does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace."

November 2021

The BBC released an in-depth documentary into the turbulent relationship between Harry, William and the media called The Princes and the Press. During the programme, the Times journalist responsible for the article, Valentine Low, was asked whether the bullying claims leaked to the newspaper were “licensed” by Prince William and had his “tacit approval”. Low replied: “Absolutely not.”

In the same show, Afia stated there were “massive inaccuracies” in the article, including the general claim that Meghan was a bully. Afia insisted Meghan had not used power to deliberately hurt someone emotionally or physically. But, she said, it was hard to prove the allegations were false: “It’s really hard to prove a negative”, she said. "If you haven't bullied someone, how to show you haven’t."

30 June, 2022

In June 2022, the review officially concluded, but the palace said that its results would not be made public.

Sources speaking to the BBC said this was because "one has to recognise that HR matters involving individuals are private, and that those individuals who participated in the review did so on that basis, and therefore have a right to confidentiality".

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend a National Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Meghan and Harry attended the Service of Thanksgiving celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weeks before the bullying review concluded. (Getty Images)

Royal author Katie Nicholl said at the time one reason the results would be kept private was because the late Queen "didn't want any more drama".

7 December, 2022

The day before the docu-series was due to be released, The Times carries a new report quoting a former employee - who alleged Meghan bullied them – accusing the Sussexes of telling lies.

Bound by a "confidentiality agreement" the unnamed former aide said the run-up to the documentary release had been "emotionally draining" and that Meghan knows "we can’t financially protect ourselves by going to court, so she keeps pushing. It’s all a game for her. And she is loving it.

"The only way to end it once for good is for us to be allowed to speak, and for the palace to firmly reject their lies."

Yahoo UK have contacted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for comment.