The investigation into Duchess Meghan ‘looks like a PR exercise to muddy the waters’

The Sunday Times was the first outlet to report on Buckingham Palace “burying” their report on the bullying claims against the Duchess of Sussex. Something curious happened following the Times story though – very little follow-up reporting. Considering the wall-to-wall reporting on “Meghan is a bully, we promise” last year, and considering the monthly follow-ups repeating all of those anonymous claims, you would think that the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Mirror would all have extensive follow-up reporting on the Sunday Times story, right? You would think that royal reporters would call up their Kensington Palace contacts and get new statements about how the poor bullying victims feel about BP refusing to publicly call out their “bully.” That hasn’t happened. Curious. Newsweek did a follow-up story though. Newsweek spoke to Graham Smith, who is the head of Republic (the British anti-monarchy group).

The palace has not commented on the story but the suggestion led to fans of the duchess circulating the theory it was kept quiet because it exonerated Meghan. Another possibility is that the palace wanted to avoid re-igniting trans-Atlantic warfare with the Sussexes.

Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-Monarchy campaign group Republic, told Newsweek there should be transparency.

“There’s an issue here which is whether the outcome may have been that it was all stirred up to distract from the Oprah interview, which was speculated at the time, so some openness would be helpful,” he said. “Also, have they bothered to look into the accusations of racism that came out of the Oprah interview? I think the answer is no. The whole thing looks like a PR exercise to muddy the waters and put them in the clear over the allegations that Meghan set out.”

[From Newsweek]

That’s a good point and I wish I had made it – considering the splashy announcement about the “bullying investigation” made just before the Oprah interview aired, surely the palace would also want to clarify some sh-t about Meghan’s accusations of racism? I guess not. Those accusations of racism were ignored, just as Meghan was ignored when she repeatedly sought help from the institution (the same institution which was actively trying to drive her to suicide).

Not to mention, the many incidents and stories about other royals and their attitudes towards staff. Prince Andrew treating Buckingham Palace household staffers like garbage, Prince William screaming at staffers, Prince Charles’s senior staff being racially abusive, etc. No splashy HR investigations for any of that.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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49 Responses to “The investigation into Duchess Meghan ‘looks like a PR exercise to muddy the waters’”

  1. IForget says:

    YESSS all the claps for this!! 100% true and great point made. Side note, Graham Smith’s/Republic’s videos on Youtube are fantastic and easy to digest.

  2. Noki says:

    This whole thing was just a giant embarrassment and they all should be ashamed.

  3. Selene says:

    Diana was also accused of bullying previous to her divorce from Charles. It’s all to create a distraction and to undermine their credibility. Buckingham Palace surely thrives on tradition!

  4. Becks1 says:

    Yeah, it is a PR exercise, where the palace just wants everyone to draw their own conclusions and not push for any more details. so Meghan supporters can say the report exonerates her, Meghan haters can say it showed how awful she was and the palace is hiding it to “protect” her (lol, bc that’s something the palace does), etc.

    I doubt this happened but I wish they had had a…..a racism expert, I guess? investigating these claims as well. Like someone who could see some of the behavior as racist even if they weren’t using racial slurs, you know? I think Meghan experienced a lot of microaggressions during her time in the Firm and i’m not sure a team of white lawyers or whoever investigating the situation would have seen all the racism for what it was.

    But of course we know that didn’t happen, bc the royals are “very much not a racist family.”

    • Blithe says:

      Excellent point, Becks1! Even a sincere and dedicated team might have missed a lot, especially since Meghan herself was apparently not interviewed or consulted in any way. Given that the staff is predominantly white and British, it wouldn’t be possible to establish patterns of behavior against any targeted group of people, so, in addition to overlooking or misinterpreting micro-aggressions and openly hostile, racist behavior within the office culture, it’s also easier to dismiss problematic behavior and even policies as “personal” issues and idiosyncrasies when only one person is the focus of even flagrantly racist hostilities.

    • Christine says:

      Isn’t that what the “diversity czar” (that I think was never hired, only eluded to?) position was supposed to address?

  5. Merricat says:

    Lol forever. Everyone knows that the independent investigation turned up lots of bullies, none named “Meghan.”

  6. WiththeAmerican says:

    They’re just like our Supreme Court. Investigate when it serves them, ignore the real issue of how they’re the problem. Disgusting behavior they should be ashamed.

  7. Wiglet Watcher says:

    I think my assumption is right. They can’t keep mentioning this because Meghan’s lawyers will have a legal foothold to see the report to defend their client against defamation.
    The report has to be buried or it could get out and it would be Horrible for the BRF/Cams/ KP.

    • Notpretentious says:

      Excellent point @Wiglet Watcher!

    • Nic919 says:

      I don’t believe they ever investigated anything about bullying because if a report exists then Meghan’s lawyers will have a right to it. Unless the palaces want to say that no employment laws apply to them at all, they didn’t actually investigate. The Times story talks about a review of HR policies and I suspect that’s all that happened without anyone ever looking into any allegations, especially since Knauf started this mess and he’s now gone.

      And the media are staying quiet because this treads close to defamation if they go much further with this story, especially since there is no report to back up any investigation or evidence of bullying.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Meghan’s lawyers have no right to a privately funded investigation that never included Meghan and isn’t being directly used to slander her.
        I believe there is some report and I believe the findings are very bad for KP.

        But Nic
        If there was no investigation and report why bury it? Why announce that you’re burying nothing? Why all the updates along the way or being slow walked? Why not just do what they’ve always done and never speak of it again in the press?

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Agree @Nic919. I don’t believe an investigation ever took place or that an outside, independent, external (whatever word) was ever hired. BP issued an actual statement about looking into HR policies after the Knauf/Will sanctioned false bullying allegations Times article and after the Sussexes put out their statement before the Oprah interview. KP/W&K were afraid about what might come out. This is long, please bear with me and I hope it goes through.

        March 10th, 2021, Janina G. is on that morning show saying good, we welcome this. Meghan has receipts. (I’m paraphrasing) March 13th? the Fail puts out an article saying Meghan’s team is ‘demanding files’ blahblahblah something about it being handed over to Charles. Personally believe that was another made up story. BP & the Sussexes declined to comment on that story. Which they probably weren’t asked about to begin with. March 14th the Times puts out the story that BP hired the imaginary outside law firm to investigate per “royal sources”, “royal officials”. BP never put out an official statement that they were doing that. The Times/DM/BM, with help from KP, put out another false story to make the initial story to appear to be more credible. BP is guilty of not refuting the stories.

        June 20, 2021 the Times puts out the story that “the investigation” results will not be included in the SG report this year but next year! Don’t believe BP or CH made an official statement. Keep in mind, Valentine Low clarified Knauf made the supposed complaints to Simon Case (who was William’s private secretary in Oct. 2018) and supposedly Samantha Carruthers agreed with?. There is zero evidence that any staffers made complaints. Even by ones that were dismissed for gross misconduct. It’s comical to believe the email from Knauf to Case exists. All the bad actors involved in the W&K/KP smear campaign against Meghan had been conveniently assigned/left to other positions outside of KP/the Firm when the Times put out the initial March 3?, 2021 article except Jason Knauf(and W&K).

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @Wiglet Watcher, my long post may or may not appear. To answer your question, we don’t know an investigation took place. We only have member’s of the BM/RR’s say so. Qwite questionable. BP has not been giving updates. The BM/RR’s have. The Times is saying it was buried per unnamed royal, palace sources. At no time has a BP spokesperson been named. Why not? If it was actually official and legit, where is the problem with naming said person if it was on the up and up? The post shared here on June 20 re: burying the report-was once again referring to unnamed people. If BP actually said they were burying the report, why at the end of that article was it noted that BP declined to comment? The BM/RR’s play the long con so often with their stories. Obfuscation is their favorite word & game. Maybe some of us are being simplistic and operating on Occam’s Razor? It does seem to be the most valid. There was no reason to investigate Meghan bullying anyone because she never did. The Queen couldn’t really hire an outside law firm to investigate said situation using her “private funds”.lol (still taxpayer money overall) The Queen/BP would still be the client of said imaginary law firm. The outcome/investigation would never be fair to Meghan. A report, paid for by the Queen/Firm would never reveal that the future futures are scheming, lying, smearing and jealous assholes. It’s to the BM’s/RR’s benefit to perpetuate the stories $$$$$. The Times is one of the 7 (there is obviously a lot more) named by the Sussexes on the Sussex Royal site as an outlet they wouldn’t work with-they are a member of the ‘royal rota’. Harry knows how things work. He knows the business model. The Sussexes knew an investigation was not happening. Like Diana and the Bashir interview, the Firm/BM/grey men are mad at Harry about revealing the inner workings/invisible contract stuff. Oh and that he married/loves an intelligent, beautiful, hard working, charismatic woman of color that lights up rooms she walks into. Unlike…. This is a great read about the “investigation”.
        https://twitter.com/bzbenbryant/status/1538499229483687937

  8. Kels says:

    He’s spot on!! I also noticed no major US newspapers picked it up because it’s all very tabloidy. Just more rumor and innuendo nothing more!!
    I’m frustrated that I don’t feel like they’ll be true justice for Meghan but I’m glad that they are still supported, companies, charities are still working with them and back them. That’s all that matters!!

  9. Jais says:

    Did a quick headline search and Robert Jobsen wrote about Roya’s report for the DM but just repeated what had been said. No additional commentary from him or any of the other RR through tweets or anything. They are strait up being told to stand down on this topic and it’s always shocking to watch this invisible contract. I hope this is the topic of Omid’s next article.

  10. Amy Bee says:

    It is very curious that the British press and the Royal reporters have not followed up on this story. The Palace was very loud when the allegations were made. They need to release the report.

  11. C-Shell says:

    Invisible Contract in full, open display. Everything Harry and Meghan said in the Oprah interview and The Me You Can’t See is true. Of course, we all knew that, but the inept BRF continues to prove it again and again. I hope Meghan (or her lawyers on her behalf) is able to get some closure over this, even if the public never learns the truth. Although, they OWE her as public an apology as the very public accusations.

  12. JMoney says:

    The racism accusation were never going to be addressed b/c it came from W and W is the FFK. If this were not the RF, racism issue would’ve been the first thing to be investigated but its not. When a scandal hits the RF notice BP, CH and KP put on a “united front” and this was the case for the Oprah interview. The only time it wasn’t is when Any is concerned b/c she’s TQ fave son and he’s still trying to work within the RF institution (notice he doesn’t want to leave) . H&M leaving threaten the monarchy hence TQ will never publicly support them (though she should). TQ loves her family (including H&M) but she loves the institution of the monarchy more.

  13. MsIam says:

    Well, to quote Princess Diana, “This f*cking family!” How kind of them to want to now “protect” Meghan after four years of trashing her. Never mind Baldemort calling her a “b*tch and a sociopath” because she yelled at his staff. And sent emails, texts whatever early in the morning. Lock her up! Well if the best that can come from this is that they now will leave Meghan alone, then hurrah for that I guess. But they are still trash.

  14. Sofia says:

    I do remember reading last year that there wasn’t going to be an investigation into the supposed bullying but rather an investigation into how HR dealt with it and what policies (if any) exist to complain about the royals. And turns out, that was true according to the reports that it was a report about HR policies rather than Meghan.

    But I said it yesterday but if there was anything to say Meghan was a bully it would have been said so because the palace has spent the last almost 6 years NOT protecting Meghan so why start now.

    • MsIam says:

      If it was just a report on policies and procedures, then why announce that you have to “bury” that? This was done to stir up shit and also because they uncovered some shit they wished they hadn’t. Anyway, I’d like to know what the penalty would be for a royal yelling or mistreating staff? Are they gonna get fired, get their pay docked, get passed over for a promotion? Have to go to anger management? Or are the policies just for everyone else except the main perpetrators? Its a joke, but hopefully employees will get some compensation if they are mistreated.

      • Sofia says:

        It obviously is a joke and I doubt any penalties exist for the royals. They’re probably burying it because by hiding it, they don’t have to tell the public what “changes” they’re going to do and then the rota can’t ask them if any of the changes were implemented.

        The royals like as much as smoke as possible between the public and their activities so not publicising a report on HR policies makes sense – especially when said policies are probably very weak.

    • Becks1 says:

      That is what they said it would be about – the HR policies and protections in place so that employees can file complaints in the future etc – but I can’t see how you do that without investigating the allegations themselves. And if the allegations were false, or Jason Knauf did jump the gun and email HR complaining about M before the complaints were rescinded – it would serve BP well to announce that, IMO.

      However, BP cannot do anything of the sort bc we all know the bullying allegations were re-leaked before Oprah (since they were from 2018 originally) by KP as a way to head off anything H&M might say during the interview, so William and co put BP in a hard place.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      They announced both. An investigation and an internal assessment with a HR inclusiveness (whatever) tzar.

  15. Flowerlake says:

    This seems so shady.

    Having accusations but no actual clear exoneration is nasty.

    • kirk says:

      The accusations are not clear either. Bullying implies repeated behaviors intended to demean other person. They haven’t even cited one behavior (time emails are sent are irrelevant).

      • Petra (Brazen Hussy Uppity Phenomenal Woman) says:

        @kirk, @royalsuitor on Twitter wrote a good thread on the vagueness of the bullying allegations. The thread is an eye opener to BP bad faith move in announcing the so-called investigation.

      • Shawna says:

        Just tried to follow up on @royalsuitor. The account has been suspended! Whoa.

      • Nick G says:

        @Shawna I found the account up, no problem at 2pm.

      • Christine says:

        It’s suspended now.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Try @royal_suitor

        https://twitter.com/royal_suitor
        Some of the threads echoed what I wrote yesterday morning. Questioning the lack of a named law firm and how the “investigation” was similar to the diversity czar business.

  16. Che Che says:

    As the Royal family turns and churns to stay relevant on Meghan’s back is the current playbook. These remainders have no shame or fame to speak on.

  17. Geegee says:

    Never let the story die. Don’t let them bury it.

  18. aquarius64 says:

    I think the Palace won’t release the report out of fear of backlash from the BM and the RRs. KP most like likely fed the story to the press and they ran with it without independently checking it out. If the report shows the bullying charges are bogus (they are) and manufactured by Jason Knauff the BM will have egg on its face and may be exposed to a defamation lawsuit from Meghan. The invisible contract is torn up and all bets are off for the Windsors.

  19. Well Wisher says:

    There was no investigation, BP became embroiled with KP’s latest drama at the time of the announcement of said allegations.
    They tried to “close” it, in their annual report to the objection of Meghan, who rightly wanted to face her accuser(s).

    Someone with something bogus to prove brought the non investigation to the times.

    There is no report because there was no investigation.

  20. Seriously says:

    The apology needs to be as loud as the disrespect.

  21. Jay says:

    Even if this report is nothing more than a list of ways KP’s HR could have responded better, that’s still news. The little we have heard about the way this staff worked made them sound incompetent and unprofessional at best, negligent and lazy at worst.

    As many have previously mentioned, a real HR complaint would automatically have opened an investigation. Instead, we get Jason Knauf emailing a list of accusations to Simon Case, who I think was working for BP at the time if I have the timeline right. Regardless, that’s not how it’s done. We also heard that the people whose names Knauf used in his allegations against Meghan did not want their names attached to it and asked for the claims to be dropped. You’ll remember Jason as the same guy that tried to offer testimony against Meghan in her case against the DM and offered up private email and text exchanges to the court. Something rotten there.

    There’s a lot that’s wrong with this, and the public deserves to know how the situation will be improved.

  22. Nic919 says:

    There is a video of the hosts from ET Canada discussing this shadiness and it’s pretty obvious that both of them know these allegations of bullying raised just before the Oprah interview were done in fear of what might be said in the interview.

    Outside of the UK, most people can see this for what it was, just another attempt to smear Meghan.

  23. Lady Digby says:

    W took an instant dislike to M (racism) but he has to deflect and instead have chief minion invent that she is a horrid, shouty, sulky bully to justify why he and Kkkate were so horrified and had to defend the entire palace from her , or something?! Newsflash M is not the bully and the Crown don’t want to change HR policies or practices if it could be used against current working members of RF !!

  24. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    They felt compelled to investigate Meghan, but Andrew still has his “HRH” title, right? Just checking.

  25. Over it says:

    Does anyone else feel like the words to Beyoncé new song is in reference to Meghan in a way? It just feels to me like she is showing Meghan, I got your back . I certainly feel that way and it made me love Queen B a little bit more. I could be projecting.

  26. Over it says:

    They were so quick to smear and destroy her, they were so quick to write articles proclaiming her to be the worst thing that ever happened to the uk, the monarchy and Harry. How come they aren’t just as quick to publish that report? I smell and see a deceptive devious bunch of lying hateful racist people. I am looking at you william and you Kate and you Jason. We are never to let the world forget what these people did to Meghan.

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