Great Britain

Meghan Markle plunges royal family into worst crisis in decades after accusing The Firm of being ‘liars’

MEGHAN Markle accused the Royal Family of lying in an astonishing escalation of her war of words — and no sign of backing down over her TV interview.

The allegation emerged as another trailer for her bombshell Oprah Winfrey chat was released indicating it will still be shown this weekend.

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The US show, which has already sparked controversy, looms as Prince Philip, 99, recovers from critical heart surgery and Meghan is embroiled in a scandal over alleged bullying of her staff.

In the latest trailer, the Duchess of Sussex accuses Buckingham ­Palace of “perpetuating falsehoods”.

Meghan, 39, even seems to issue a challenge to the Queen to strip her and husband Prince Harry, 36, of their HRH titles.

Presenter Oprah is shown asking Meghan: “How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?” 

A clearly angry Meghan says: “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, there is a lot that has been lost already.”

The clip was released hours before it was revealed Prince Philip had successfully undergone surgery, which sources said may have been to have a second stent fitted.

It emerged after the Palace launched a probe into claims that Meghan had forced royal staff to quit and left others in tears over her demands.

It is not known what “falsehoods” Meghan is accusing the royals of as the interview was recorded in Los Angeles before the bullying allegations — which she strongly denies — surfaced.

Tonight senior members of the Royal Family united in a show of strength behind the Queen.

Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate would be joining the 94-year-old monarch in a TV address to the Commonwealth praising “the family of nations”.

It will take place just hours before Harry and Meghan’s US interview is due to be screened.

A senior royal source said: “The wagons are circling around the Queen and the institution. The family is under a brutal but entirely unnecessary attack. They don’t understand why on earth Meghan and Harry are being like this.

“At this point in time the focus is on supporting the Queen and praying that Prince Philip makes a full recovery from his operation.”

There are fears the fallout from the Oprah interview is shaping up to present the biggest crisis in the monarchy since Princess Diana’s death and her divorce from Charles in the 1990s. 

That was stoked further by an article in society magazine Harper’s Bazaar — written by Meghan’s friend Omid Scobie — in which a friend of Meghan hinted that ­racism was to blame for the bullying allegations against her.

One, described as a close pal of Meghan, said: “I hate to say it, but find me a woman of colour in a senior ­position who has not been accused of being too angry, too scary, too whatever in the workplace.

“It’s sad that it’s happening, but I’m not surprised.

“These claims are so far from the woman I know.”

Sources told Scobie the claims amounted to a “takedown” of Meghan’s character and a “pre-emptive strike” ahead of the TV interview on Sunday night.

Another said: “Harry and Meghan knew that it would get ugly in the run up, but seeing such an obvious attempt at destroying her character was distressing and upsetting.”

One of the subjects of the Oprah interview will be bullying, the ­magazine revealed.

Aides had previously complained about Meghan after her 2018 wedding, the magazine said.

One who worked with the Duchess on a charity initiative, told a colleague: “Her expectations are unrealistic. She wants everything done now. This is not Hollywood!”

Meghan’s apparent challenge to the Queen to strip her and Harry of their HRH status was met with disbelief yesterday.

She and Harry lost their patronages and military titles after Megxit but remain Duke and Duchess.

They kept their HRH title but are not allowed to use them when pursuing commercial deals in the US.

Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said: “When Diana challenged the Queen she took away her HRH.

“She cannot take it away from Harry as prince of the blood so perhaps Meghan knows the Queen will not stoop to being petty. I know the public may be ­calling for it but the Queen won't stoop so low.”

Former Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter said: “What are these lies Meghan says supposed to be? 

“The Royal Family has weathered the abdication crisis of 1936, Annus Horribilis of 1992 and Princess Diana’s Panorama interview in 1995.

“They will weather this from Meghan because at the end of the day they have not done anything wrong. Everyone saw how they were welcomed by the Royal Family and the British public.”

The interview will be screened by CBS in the US at 1am UK time on Monday and then by ITV on Monday at 9pm. It will be shown in 63 countries to hundreds of millions of viewers.

In it Meghan appears to have told Oprah she felt “silenced” and that being a Duchess was “almost unsurvivable”.

Gayle King – Meghan’s friend and a presenter on CBS, the channel screening Oprah’s interview – declared on air that tensions had been raised “to another level” following claims that the Duchess was a “Mean Girl” – in a reference to the Hollywood movie starring Lindsay Lohan.

The special one-hour programme celebrating “Her Majesty’s lifetime commitment to the Commonwealth” will be screened on the BBC 

Prince Charles has recorded a message and William and Kate will be seen speaking to medical, charity and voluntary staff from across the Commonwealth.

Camilla has filmed a segment about the importance of books and reading for children.

A source said: “This will be the Royal Family doing what they do best. Representing their country and celebrating the very best of the Commonwealth.

“Putting service and duty first.”

Meghan Markle accuses Royal family of 'perpetuating falsehoods' and says 'a lot's been lost' in Oprah interview clip amid bullying claims

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