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UK royals will not release details of Meghan Markle’s ‘bullying’ investigation: report

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Meghan and Harry accused unknown employees of racism during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. (file)

London:

According to a senior family source, details of the investigation into allegations of bullying by the Duchess of Sussex against staff of the royal family will not be published despite the outcome of reforms in the administration of the palace.

Buckingham Palace launched an investigation last year and took testimony from staff about their experiences working for Meghan, before she and husband Prince Harry left frontline duty in January 2020.

During a briefing on the annual royal finance report published on Thursday, a senior palace source said the details would remain hidden to protect the privacy of the participants.

“Due to the confidentiality of the discussions, we have not been informed of the detailed recommendations,” he said.

“Recommendations have been incorporated into policies and procedures, where appropriate, and policies and procedures have changed.”

Meghan and Harry shocked the royal family when they accused unknown members of racism during an interview with American talk show star Oprah Winfrey.

She denied the allegations of bullying, which first surfaced in March 2021, just before the Oprah interview, and called them “a calculated smear campaign.”

The allegations and interviews deepened a crisis for the family, which has been hit by revelations about Prince Andrew’s relationship to the late billionaire financier and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Relations between Harry and his father Prince Charles have reportedly been strained, but a royal source said his first meeting with granddaughter Lily earlier this month was “very emotional”.

Harry and Meghan were a low-key attendee at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ceremony, jetting off from California with their children Lily, age one, and Archie, age three.

Charles’ charitable foundation is currently under investigation for an alleged cash-for-honors scam.

Separately, the Sunday Times reported last weekend that Charles had accepted £2.5 million ($3 million) in charitable donations in carrier bags and holdalls from former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

The royal source said the cash was “immediately sent to their charity” at Wednesday’s briefing.

“For more than half a decade, the situation as it has evolved has not happened and it will not happen again,” the source said.

royal finance

The briefing was held after the family released its 2021/22 report on the Sovereign Grant, which pays for the monarch’s official duties and maintenance of the royal palaces.

Public visits to palaces took a hit, with incomes below 50 per cent of pre-coronavirus levels taking a hit, with reports showing that the pandemic was still eroding the earning power of the family.

Privy Purse keeper Michael Stevens warned that rising prices are likely to squeeze the family’s finances as well.

“Looking ahead, while sovereign grants are likely to remain flat over the next few years, inflationary pressures on operating costs and our ability to increase supplemental earnings are likely to be hampered in the short term,” he said.

“We will continue to work against our plans and manage these impacts through our own efforts and competencies.”

Grants came in at £86.3 million in the fiscal year ending March 2021, a slight increase from the year before.

This figure is made up of an original grant of £51.8 million, which funds official travel, maintenance of the property and operating costs of the Queen’s House, and an additional £34.5 million for the reservation of Buckingham Palace.

The grant is set as equal to 15 percent of the profits of the Crown Estate – a vast portfolio of land, property and other assets such as wind farms that belong to the ruling monarch but are managed independently.

The net proceeds of the Crown Estate are assigned to the Treasury under an agreement sealed in 1760.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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