Royal staff were too scared to confront Meghan Markle and Prince Harry over diamond earrings gifted by the Saudi Crown Prince, it is claimed.
The Duchess of Sussex wore the “blood-soaked” jewelery to a state dinner in Fiji in October 2018 – three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which a US justice report found was authorized by Mohammed bin Salman.
However media were initially told that Meghan’s glitzy chandelier earrings were “borrowed” from a jeweller, The Sun reports.
But it transpired they were a wedding gift from the Prince, who, at the time of wearing, was implicated in the Khashoggi killing.
The journalist was murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, before his body parts were disposed of.
A new book claims that on seeing photos of the Duchess wearing the Butani diamonds in Fiji, London-based staff responsible for registering the details of all royal gifts recognized them.
But after alerting Kensington Palace, a decision was made not to raise the issue with the Sussexes, the Daily Mail reports.
Writing in Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown, Valentine Low quotes a source saying: “We made a decision not to confront Meghan and Harry on it, out of fear for what their reaction would be.”
The following month, the former Suits actress wore the earrings again – to the then-Prince Charles’ 70th birthday party at Buckingham Palace.
An aid then allegedly took the matter up with Harry, who is said to have looked “shocked” that people knew where the jewels had come from.
Lawyers for the couple deny he was ever questioned.
Speaking on behalf of Meghan, law firm Schillings said: “At no stage did the Duchess tell staff that the earrings were ‘borrowed from a jeweller’, as this would have been untrue and therefore any suggestion that she encouraged them to lie to the media is baseless.”
And two days later, a spokesman added: “It is possible she said the earrings were borrowed, which is correct, as presents from heads of state to the royal family are gifts to Her Majesty the Queen, who can then choose to lend them out to members of the family.”
Lawyers also argued that Meghan did not know about Salman’s suspected involvement in Khashoggi’s murder.
The Sun has contacted representatives for the Sussexes for comment.
Around the same time, Meghan was accused of bullying palace staff – driving two personal assistants out of the household and undermining the confidence of a third.
A senior aid allegedly raised concerns about her “difficult demands” to which they said she snapped: “It’s not my job to coddle people.”
She was also accused of leaving others shaking and in tears amid the “febrile atmosphere” – but the Duchess denied the allegations and accused aides of launching a “calculated smear campaign” against her.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Read related topics:Meghan Markle Prince Harry