Around 10 former aides of Meghan and Harry ‘queuing up’ to help bullying probe

At least 10 former aides of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are "queuing up" to assist an investigation into claims of bullying, according to reports.

The probe, ordered by the Queen, will look into claims Meghan Markle "humiliated" Palace staff by subjecting them to "emotional cruelty and manipulation".

One royal source told the Mirror that a "group of people are queuing up to be involved" in the probe.

Following Buckingham Palace's announcement of the investigation on Wednesday, a new clip from Meghan and Harry's upcoming Oprah Winfrey interview was released showing the Duchess accusing senior royals of "perpetuating" lies about them.

In the 30-second clip, US chat queen Oprah, 67, asks Meghan: "How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?"

Meghan, 39, replies: "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.

She adds: "And if that comes with risk of losing things, there's a lot that's been lost already."

The swipe was dismissed by Palace sources as a "circus" who said the Royal Family's "sole focus" continues to be Prince Philip, 99, who is recovering in hospital after undergoing heart surgery.

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Sources connected to the group told how those involved were all considered to be "hugely professional and proud of their efforts" while working at Kensington Palace.

One told the Mirror: "A group of people are queuing up to be involved. They have been silent for too long and there is much to talk about."

Senior royals are understood to be "dismayed" at reports that young female staff had been reduced to tears, with one aide, reportedly anticipating a confrontation with Meghan, telling a colleague: "I can't stop shaking."

Buckingham Palace has said it is "very concerned" by the bullying accusations, first reported in The Times.

Palace sources said the Queen was "completely right" to order the probe "in the face of new allegations".

The aides set to become involved worked for the couple in October 2018, when a complaint against Meghan was reportedly lodged by the Sussexes' communications secretary Jason Knauf.

Palace sources say the issue "was investigated" at the time, but the aides named in an email by Knauf "chose not to proceed with the complaint" against their boss.

One source said: "The complaint was considered and those members of staff were spoken to and given the option of taking it further.

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"For whatever reason, they decided not to, possibly because they were still in their job and they were worried about the implications."

Past and present employees are to be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for the duchess.

To fully examine the allegations, Meghan would have to be part of proceedings but it is not clear what role, if any, she will play in the process.

A source close to the Sussexes said of the Palace's announcement of the probe on Wednesday night: "The first we heard about this was via the press – this is a whole tit-for-tat scenario.

"It's not a complaint we haven't heard anything but it's very hard to know what the process is."

There has long been speculation about the atmosphere in the Sussex household after a number of staff left.

The two-hour Oprah interview will be shown in the US on Sunday night – 1am on Monday our time.

It will be screened on ITV at 9pm on Monday.

The interview is expected to focus on her time as a working royal, before she and Harry quit last March and moved to the US.

Both Buckingham Palace and representatives of the Duchess have been contacted for comment.

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