United Kingdom

Rival fans of Meghan Markle and Royal Family fight war of words on Twitter

Supporters of the Duchess of Sussex are using the hashtags #TeamMeghan and #SussexSquad as they go up against Royal Family fans online under #TeamQueen.

Royal watchers around the world have been reacting on Twitter this week to the war of words between Buckingham Palace in London and Meghan Markle in California. 

Some backing Meghan claim the palace 'timed their damage control so poorly any moron can see through it' ahead of the Oprah Winfrey interview on Sunday.

Other fans of the Duchess accused the Royal Family of pulling off 'stunts' and a 'smear campaign', while another said: 'Super Cali goes ballistic, RF are atrocious.'

But those backing the Royal Family tweeted about the 'poor Queen' and claimed they 'don't trust a single word that comes out of Meghan's mouth or Harry's now'. 

It comes as the Duchess said she could not be expected to stay silent if the Royal Family played a part in 'perpetuating falsehoods' about her and Prince Harry. 

A clip of Meghan making the dramatic remarks to Oprah was released in the early hours of this morning, in which she added 'a lot ... has been lost already'.

The couple's interview with the US television host is expected to lift the lid on their short period as working royals before they stepped down for a life in America.

It will first be shown on CBS in the US this Sunday night at 1am UK time, before being broadcast in Britain by ITV in a two-hour special on Monday evening from 9pm.

In the 30-second clip released on social media today, Oprah asks the duchess: 'How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?'  

She 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.

'And, if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, I ... there is a lot that has been lost already.'

'The Firm' is widely considered to be shorthand for the institution of the royal family.

Past and present employees of Buckingham Palace are to be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for Meghan, after it was alleged she drove out two personal assistants and that staff were 'humiliated' on several occasions.

The Times newspaper has reported that the duchess 'destroyed' one member of staff and another was left in tears before she departed. Meghan's lawyers have vehemently denied she is a bully.

There has long been speculation about the atmosphere in the Sussex household, after a number of staff left, and the newspaper chronicles what it describes as 'turmoil' within palace walls.

Underlying Meghan's actions, the paper reports, was the view of a number of sources that she wanted to be a 'victim' so her 'unbearable experience' would convince Harry they had to leave the UK - something her lawyers have denied.

The monarchy's 'men in grey suits' have been accused of being aware of the alleged actions of the duchess and of doing 'absolutely nothing to protect people'.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: 'We are clearly very concerned about allegations in the Times following claims made by former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

'Accordingly, our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.

'The Royal Household has had a dignity at work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.'

Meghan and Harry will not be part of the process as they are not staff, and it is understood the Palace hopes to start the investigation soon.

Lawyers for the duke and duchess said the Sussexes believed staff were comfortable and happy. 

The Queen, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the Buckingham Palace balcony in July 2018

However, Jason Knauf, the couple's then communications secretary, made a bullying complaint in October 2018 in an apparent attempt to force Buckingham Palace to protect staff.

A source suggested the attitude to the allegations was more about making them 'go away' rather than 'addressing' them, with the paper claiming that Mr Knauf's complaint was never progressed.

Meghan's spokesman said: 'The duchess is 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.

'She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.'

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