Inquiry results into Meghan staff ‘disparagement’ claims absent from royal report

LONDON—Oh, Meghan, you bossy, stalker American upstart jerk!

The sources say.

But wait, that’s just an accusation, unconfirmed.

Like the claim made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their highly choreographed explosive interview with Oprah, that a member of the royal family had made a racist comment about their future child’s potential skin color while in the womb.

Not Queen Elizabeth II, they hastened to assure. Someone else they refused to identify. So go ahead and kill them all anonymously and indiscriminately.

There have been rumors ever since the former Ms. Markle jumped the broom with Prince Harry in 2018, in a stupendous feat of social climbing, from cable TV actress to bona fide tiara, that all was not rosy in the above dynamic. and below the couple’s family. — a home they abandoned when they abandoned their tedious lives as hard-working members of The Firm, moving with locks, stock and barrels to Meghan’s native California, Frogmore Cottage on the Queen’s Windsor estate relegated to a 10-bedroom apartment. pied-à-terre for the rare occasions when they are in England.

Like Her Majesty’s recent platinum jubilee celebrations, where the Sovereign first met her eponymous great-granddaughter Lilibet, Archie’s cute-as-a-button little sister.

In fact, such was the stress the Duchess allegedly caused her staff (servants) that the Palace announced a year ago that a formal investigation would be carried out into claims that Meghan’s “disparaging” behavior had expelled two assistants. home personal data and “undermined” the trust of a third party.

At the time, Palace officials indicated that Yes If the findings of the inquiry were made public, they would be included in this year’s Sovereign Grant report, an official annual review of the Queen’s public finances and the running of her vast home, which includes all the properties in it. That Sovereign’s Grant has now been published and, no, not a whisper of the interviews or a hint as to whether the allegations have been substantiated.

“Buried!” the media shouted, and not just the redtops.

It can be deduced that muffling the Duchess with silence, by prioritizing peace in the family over placating an aggrieved workforce, just after Harry and his brother Prince William appear to have, at least superficially, overcome the schism caused by Meghan and her husband. being driven by his willy, the other.

No member of the Royal Family had ever before been the subject of a formal complaint from staff, not even the fickle and emotionally scattered Princess of Wales, Diana. However, this complaint below was made to senior management at Palace, with the discovery that, whoops, there was no HR policy to deal with such a thing. Because no one had dared to complain or there was nothing to complain about in jobs that really don’t pay that well but have considerable benefits. and prestige

Therefore, looking for a way to deal with this situation, it took three years to reach a secret outcome, except that the public must not know the what’s it all about of that. Apparently because it is more important to calm the waters and lift the gate between the fighting Houses of Windsor than to risk the fragile armistice between the Sussexes and the Cambridges.

The result is that the focus of the investigation was not on the substance of the claims made, but on how those allegations were handled, blurring culpability with systemic flaws. This is how so many peace investigations go: no one is blamed for anything.

Just a matter of procedure, go ahead, nothing to do. Ever.

Royal aides admitted Wednesday that the findings will never be made public. Palace officials only confirmed that their investigation had been completed and “recommendations regarding our policy and procedures” had been submitted. A mild statement, indeed, for the duchess’s conduct, which reportedly at the start of this scandal had caused staff to bottle him up “in tears”, with some comparing her condition to post-traumatic stress disorder. . Which, of course, is nonsense, although there seems to be a pandemic of PTSD, with countless numbers from (perhaps) royal maids to newspaper court reporters attesting that their mental health is damaged by their experiences.

In any case, the Royal House hired an external law firm, paid privately by the family, read the Queen, to investigate the matter. The Sussexes, to be clear, have always strongly denied the allegations, denounced by the Duchess’s lawyers as “a calculated smear campaign”. Well, Meghan and Harry would know from a calculated smear campaign.

A year ago, a palace spokesman made it very clear that the details of the allegations would not be put under a microscope, so this is not a surprise. But apparently not even the whistleblowers have been informed about the findings of the investigation and what, or if, corrective action will be taken.

Your content can be kept private because no taxpayer funds were used. “There is nothing about this in the report,” said Sir Michael Stevens, Master of the Privy Purse. “As we said last year, this work was done privately and no Sovereign Grant money was spent.”

Very smart solution. The duchess should be grateful. And, we can be thankful, the Queen is running out of great-grandparents (or creepy aging children, for that matter) to screw up.

When claims about Meghan’s witchcraft first surfaced, just before the couple, who were expecting their second child, sat down for their tête-à-tête-à-tête with Oprah, shocking her blue-blooded relatives with stories of the duchess’s suffering in the royal bell jar, her thoughts of suicide and blah blah blah, the palace said it took such claims seriously and vowed to vigorously investigate. .

However, only a small number of current and former royal employees were interviewed, including two of Meghan’s former personal assistants, another senior woman on staff, and cabinet secretary Simon Case, then working as a private secretary. from Prince William, after a concerned Jason Knauf, Harry and Meghan’s press secretary, brought the allegations to the attention of senior household officials.

The sources say. OK, says “The Daily Mail”.

The same “Daily Mail” – love it or hate it (I do both) – which, this week, published a front-page story about Prince Charles accepting bags containing millions of euros in cash during a meeting with a Qatari sheikh , former Prime Minister Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. He makes the heir to the British throne sound like a mob delivery boy or drug delivery service. Actually delivered in a suitcase on one occasion, in a travel bag on another, and in bags from Fortum & Mason, the luxury department store that has a royal warrant to supply the Prince’s household with groceries, when Charlies is away. choosing theirs. vegetable garden at Highgrove.

The meetings are said to have taken place in 2015, and the cash, around US$3.15 million, was given to two of the prince’s private advisers, who counted the money by hand.

There is nothing illegal about the transaction, just unpleasant. Although a Clarence House spokesman was quick to back down, explaining that the moolah “immediately bypassed one of the Prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate arrangements and assured us that all correct processes were followed.” .

The Prince said, in private: “To hell with the press!”

The sources say.

No, I just made it up.

Rosie DiManno is a Toronto-based columnist who covers sports and current affairs for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno


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