Palace prioritised peace, whatever the cost to their staff: In the wake of Harry and Meghan’s acrimonious departure, officials were simply unable to predict just how this most defensive of couples would react, writes REBECCA ENGLISH
It was the first time a member of the Royal Family had been the subject of a formal complaint to senior management about their alleged behaviour – and there was no formal HR policy in place to deal with it.
The fact the allegations had first been made three years previously without any action seemingly being taken also uncomfortably accentuated the depth of the Palace’s paralysis over the issue.
The delicacy of the situation was further exacerbated by the state of relations between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the Royal Family.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex depart the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral during the Platinum Jubilee earlier this month
In the wake of their acrimonious departure as working royals and explosive Oprah Winfrey interview, palace officials were simply unable to predict just how this most defensive of couples would react. This is why they decided to focus their inquiries on how the allegations against Meghan were handled, as opposed to the substance of the claims themselves, whose truth or falsity has not been objectively established.
It seemed a neat-ish solution and one that was specifically designed to prevent the duchess and her legal team from having any say in what was being treated as a purely procedural matter.
Now officials have confirmed what the Daily Mail suggested would happen back in December last year – that their entire review is being buried, never to be made public.
A Landscape view of Buckingham Palace in the City of Westminster, London
And as I reveal today, even the tiny handful of staff who were consulted during the process haven’t been told what, if anything, the Palace plans to do to sharpen up their procedures in the future.
Senior palace officials such as the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Edward Young – who I have been told by multiple sources was also frequently on the receiving end of the worst of the Sussexes’ ire – wanted to do the right thing, but have clearly prioritised peace with Harry and Meghan over their workforce.
It has led some within the household to ask the question: is how your staff are treated and protected really deemed less important than angering the Sussexes?
The answer, for many, is clearly ‘yes’.