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Royal aides 'wiped away tears' when they heard Meghan had left The Firm, author claims

Meghan Markle (Getty Images)
Meghan Markle (Getty Images)

Some royal aides cried tears of sorrow when Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex stepped down from her role as a working royal in 2020, according to Omid Scobie's bombshell new royal biography.

The book, Endgame, is published today and looks “inside” the royal family and the monarchy’s “fight for survival”. Its author Scobie, who co-authored the book Finding Freedom in 2020, has previously been dubbed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s “mouthpiece” for his sympathetic portrayal of the couple but has insisted that he is “not their friend”.

In extracts from the new book seen by The Standard, Scobie describes how "there was never a word uttered or overheard about 'bullying' or anything that resembled such behaviour" among staff working for the Sussexes at the time.

Omid Scobie (Luke Fontana)
Omid Scobie (Luke Fontana)

"In fact, it wasn't until Meghan's final week in Britain as a working royal that I first caught wind of potential staff hostility on the horizon," he continues.

Scobie describes a moment he watched "two team members wipe away tears as they bid farewell to the duchess", but was later told by one of the couple's aides, "'Don't write that the staff were sad to see her go... Not all of us are or want to be portrayed as such.'"

He claims that same aide "went on to help at least two journalists with stories about the couple, particularly Meghan", "even though there were no definitive examples of the alleged bullying".

Prince Harry and Meghan attend an event at the 2023 Invictus Games, in Duesseldorf, Germany (REUTERS)
Prince Harry and Meghan attend an event at the 2023 Invictus Games, in Duesseldorf, Germany (REUTERS)

This particular extract comes in reference to allegations of bullying made against Meghan by former royal staff in March 2021, just days before the US broadcast of her and Prince Harry's two-hour "tell-all" interview with Oprah Winfrey.

According to allegations in reports at the time, the Duchess drove out two personal assistants and staff were "humiliated" on several occasions during her time as a working royal.

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

Harry and Meghan talk to Oprah Winfrey (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA) (PA Media)
Harry and Meghan talk to Oprah Winfrey (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA) (PA Media)

"Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.

"The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace."

Reports at the time uncovered a complaint that was made against Meghan by the Sussexes' former communications secretary Jason Knauf in October 2018. Knauf reportedly suggested that Meghan made unreasonable demands that led to the departure of two personal assistants and the undermining of a third during her two-year period as a working member of the royal family.

Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, gave evidence in a witness statement (PA) (PA Archive)
Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, gave evidence in a witness statement (PA) (PA Archive)

The claims were not pursued and the following month Knauf handed in his notice. A spokesman for the Sussexes dismissed all the bullying claims out of hand at the time and lawyers acting for them said they were based on misleading and harmful information dating back several years and deliberately leaked ahead of the interview.

Scobie's claim that some staff were sad to hear of Meghan's departure is the first time he has spoken out on the bullying allegations. His new book also claims that the King is jealous of William’s position and resented Harry’s popularity with the media; that William “prioritised his loyalty to the monarchy” over loyalty to his brother Harry; and that the Princess of Wales and Meghan were encouraged to dress like Princess Diana so that some of her shine would “rub off on them”.

Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace declined to comment on the book on Monday.