Meghan Markle has accused Buckingham Palace of "perpetuating falsehoods" about her and Prince Harry, vowing that the royal couple would not be silent in telling their side of the story, according to an advance excerpt of her interview with American talk show host Oprah Winfrey, released on Wednesday.
The Duchess of Sussex opened up on some of the motives that prompted her and her spouse to quit the royal fold last year, in a sit-down featuring the royal couple, to be aired on 7 March.
"How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?" Winfrey asks Meghan Markle in the excerpt.
The Duchess of Sussex responds by referring to the British royal family by the name ‘The Firm’, saying:
"I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent, if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us… And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, there's a lot that's been lost already."
On 28 February a teaser of the sit-down, “Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special”, was previewed on CBS during “60 Minutes”.
"I just want to make it clear to everybody there is no subject that's off-limits," Winfrey was heard saying in the clip, as she later asked Meghan Markle whether she had been silent or “were you silenced?"
In the teaser, Prince Harry, who is expecting his second child with his spouse, was also heard saying:
"My biggest concern was history repeating itself."
Ahead of the tell-all interview, senior royal sources, as cited by the British media, suggested that Buckingham Palace was "pretty appalled" that the recorded chat with Oprah Winfrey would be broadcast while Prince Philip is being treated in hospital. The Duke of Edinburgh is being treated at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London for a pre-existing heart condition and an infection.
Other reports claimed the Queen had been "blindsided" by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement of the interview.
The Firm ‘Very Concerned’
The release of excerpts from the upcoming interview came just hours after Buckingham Palace stated it was "very concerned" about a report in the Times newspaper that Meghan Markle’s assistants had been bullied by her two years ago.
"We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex," said Buckingham Palace in a statement, adding that the Royal Household "does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace".
It was also stated that the HR team would be independently probing the allegations further.
The Times newspaper had run a report citing unnamed sources as claiming an aide to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had lodged a complaint in October 2018.
Meghan Markle was accused of having driven some of her assistants to break down in tears, while others reportedly quit their jobs over her treatment of them. The report alleged that Prince Harry had urged the aide involved to drop the complaint before quitting.
As to the timing of the report in the outlet, former staff members had ostensibly sought to offer an insight into the alleged events before the Oprah Winfrey interview aired.
A spokeswoman for Meghan Markle said earlier that she was "saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma".
While lawyers for the couple had labelled the allegations a smear orchestrated by the Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement denying the allegations.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who married in May 2018, stepped down from their official royal duties in March last year to embark on a journey of financial independence, exploring new careers and settling in California.
Last month, as they also handed over all their royal patronages, they confirmed they would not be returning to the royal fold, and reiterated that their move had been prompted in part by intense scrutiny of their lives in the press.
Earlier, however, Meghan Markle had indicated that she felt she could not rely on the full support of the royal family, as court documents that were part of her successful privacy suit against the Mail on Sunday revealed she had felt "unprotected" while she was pregnant with their son Archie.