Alleged bullying of Palace staff sparked Kate-Meghan row, Kirstie Allsopp claims

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  • Kirstie Allsopp
    Kirstie Allsopp
    British television presenter
  • Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
    Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
    American actress
  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
    Wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
  • Oprah Winfrey
    Oprah Winfrey
    American media proprietor
  • Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
    Second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex used an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year to present an alternative version of the story, claiming it was she who ended up in tears - Samir Hussein/WireImage
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex used an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year to present an alternative version of the story, claiming it was she who ended up in tears - Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Duchess of Sussex was confronted by the Duchess of Cambridge over her alleged bullying behaviour toward Palace staff during a notorious row days before the royal wedding, Kirstie Allsopp has claimed.

The Duchess of Cambridge was left crying after she “lost control” during an argument with her future sister-in-law in May 2018, the television presenter has suggested.

Meghan Markle used an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year to present an alternative version of the story, claiming it was she who ended up in tears.

“She made me cry and it really hurt my feelings,” Meghan told the US chat show host.

But Allsopp, who counts the Duchess of Cornwall as a close family friend, claimed that Meghan had omitted to mention that the argument was about claims that she had been rude to royal courtiers.

“Kate never ever loses her temper, but she found out Meghan was being rude to staff at Kensington Palace and she was angry with her,” Ms Allsopp told the Telegraph – read the full interview.

“Then, Kate burst into tears because she’d lost control and she did take Meghan flowers to try and patch things up.”

Bullying claims denied

Buckingham Palace launched a review in 2018 into reports that Meghan had forced out two PAs and undermined the confidence of a third. A lawyer for the Duchess of Sussex this week said she “absolutely denied” ever bullying staff.

Ms Allsopp, who presents shows including Location Location Location, has spoken previously of her connections to the Royal family.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was a childhood friend of her late mother, Lady Fiona Hindlip, and is godmother to her brother Henry, an art dealer.

Her account of the argument is the third to be aired in public after the Telegraph first reported three years ago that the Duchess of Cambridge was left in tears following a bridesmaids dress fitting for Princess Charlotte.

“Kate had only just given birth to Prince Louis and was feeling quite emotional,” one insider said at the time.

However, the Duchess of Sussex hit back during her Oprah interview, claiming it was the Duchess of Cambridge who made her cry during wedding planning, not the other way round.

“The reverse happened,” Meghan said. “And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding. And she was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised.

“And she brought me flowers and a note, apologising.

“I am not sharing this to be in any way disparaging about her [Kate],” she went on. “I would hope that she would want that to be corrected.”

Major shift in relationship with Royal family

The Duchess said she did not want to get into details because her sister-in-law had “apologised and I [had] forgiven her”, adding that the reports marked a major shift in her relationship with the Royal family.

“That was a turning point. That was when everything changed,” she said. “It was the beginning of the character assassination and they knew it wasn’t true. They really seem to want a narrative of a hero and a villain.”

According to press reports, Jason Knauf, the Sussexes’ former communications secretary, submitted a formal complaint in October 2018, describing Meghan’s treatment of one employee as “totally unacceptable.”

He added: “The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights.”

Earlier this week, a lawyer for the Duchess of Sussex appeared on a controversial BBC documentary to claim that there were “massive, massive inaccuracies” in the story.

“What bullying actually means is improperly using power repeatedly and deliberately to hurt someone physically or emotionally,” Jenny Afia said.

“The Duchess of Sussex has absolutely denied ever doing that. That said, she wouldn’t want to negate anyone’s personal experiences.”

A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge declined to comment.

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