Buckingham Palace refuses to release investigation into Meghan bullying allegations

Buckingham Palace refuses to release investigation into Meghan bullying allegations

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LONDON — Buckingham Palace said it would not release the findings of an investigation into allegations that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex bullied her staff at the palace, but said “lessons have been learned” and that her HR policies have changed.

During a Wednesday briefing on the annual royal finances, a palace official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters that details of an investigation into the bullying would be kept confidential to protect the privacy of those who testified to their experiences working for Meghan when she and Harry lived at Kensington Palace.

“Due to the confidentiality of the discussions, we have not released the detailed recommendations,” the official said. “Recommendations have been incorporated into policies and procedures, where appropriate, and policies and procedures have changed.”

The manager added: “I think the objectives have been achieved because the lessons have been learned.” The palace did not say what those lessons were or how their human resource policies changed.

Buckingham Palace will investigate whether Meghan, Duchess of Sussex bullied her staff

In March 2021, Buckingham Palace launched an investigation into allegations of bullying after a Times of London article claimed that two of Meghan’s employees were forced out of their jobs and a third was mined.

At the time, Meghan’s lawyers denied the reports, calling it a “calculated smear campaign” and said The Times of London was “used by Buckingham Palace to peddle an entirely false narrative” about the Duchess. The reports appeared in the newspaper shortly before Meghan and Prince Harry’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The palace, which has never backed the allegations but said they were serious enough to be investigated, said in a statement on Thursday that the investigation was complete and “recommendations on our policies and procedures have been advanced”. The Palace said it would not publish the results of the review, which looked at how the Palace handled complaints – not the details of the allegations themselves.

Royal watchers expected the review to be mentioned in the Sovereign Grant Report, the monarchy’s annual financial accounts of spending and revenue released on Thursday.

According to the palace official, the investigation into the bullying allegations was privately funded, not taxpayers’ money, meaning it did not have to be included in the public accounts.

The annual report showed the British monarch’s official spending for 2021-22 was around $124 million, a 17 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

This amount exceeded the $105million Sovereign Grant – the public fund pool provided by the British government to cover the costs of the Queen’s household and the upkeep of royal residences. The palace said royal finances cost the UK $1.57 per person and the bulk of its spending was on major renovations at Buckingham Palace. The additional costs, according to the palace, would be covered by reserves built up in previous years.

Accounts showed the most expensive royal trip of the past year was the one to the Caribbean in March by Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge – considered a public relations disaster – which cost $274,000 .

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Some said the costs seemed excessive, especially in the current economic climate with a cost-of-living crisis starting to bite. Inflation in the UK is above 9% – the highest rate in 40 years. “£100m for the Royal Family? Reign it,” roared the Daily Mirror on its cover page.

Michael Stevens, the Queen’s Treasurer, also known as the Guardian of the Privy Purse, said in a statement that royal finances were also likely to be tight in coming years.

“With the Sovereign Grant likely to be stable over the next two years, inflationary pressures on operating costs and our ability to generate additional revenue likely to be limited in the near term, we will continue to deliver on our plans and manage these impacts through our own efforts and efficiency,” he said.

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