Meghan was unhappy with the Kensington Palace communication team and their general policy not to comment on press inquiries and reports, a source has said. However, the palace could not defend the Duchess of Sussex on a story she was particularly upset about because the claims were largely true, another source added.
Newly-released documents submitted by the Duchess of Sussex’ lawyers in response to questions raised by The Mail on Sunday had yesterday led to believe Meghan was accusing members of the Royal Family of not protecting her from the media scrutiny.
However, a source told The Times the claims made by Meghan’s legal team refers to the palace machinery and her former media representatives rather than her in-laws.
Voicing concerns, the source said: “No one thinks this is going to end well. For anyone.”
Meghan is believed to have been particularly angry at the palace’s response on two stories followed by the press between mid-2018 and 2019.
The first concerned the resignation of her PA, Melissa Toubati, only six months after the Royal Wedding on May 19 2018.
A widely reported source at the time claimed the French assistant had “put up with a lot” before quitting.
They told the Daily Mirror: “Her job was highly pressurised and in the end it became too much. She put up with quite a lot.
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“Meghan put a lot of demands on her and it ended up with her in tears.
“She is hugely talented and played a pivotal role in the success of the royal wedding.
“She’ll be missed by everyone in the household.
“Melissa is a total professional and fantastic at her job, but things came to a head and it was easier for them both to go their separate ways.”
While Meghan was dissatisfied with this story, the communication teams at Kensington Palace found it difficult to deny press reports as they were largely true, according to another source who spoke with The Times.
The source claimed: “The stories were a drop in the ocean compared to what was going on”.
Meghan was also upset at the relentless attacks of her half-sister Samantha Markle and the lack of response from Kensington Palace.
However, the Times wrote, palace staff was not going to get involved with opinions voiced by a private citizen based in Florida.
In late 2018, Ms Markle was understood to have been included on a “fixated persons list” by the police royalty and specialist protection unit, flagging the “reputational risk” that she posed to the Royal Family with her attacks to the Sussexes.
Kensington Palace’s communication team represented Meghan and Harry between May 2018 and the spring of 2019, when it was announced the couple would create a new media team based at Buckingham Palace.
Kensington Palace didn’t comment on the claims made by The Times’ sources.
Lawyers for Meghan made a court filing on June 30 after the Mail on Sunday asked for further information relating to the ongoing High Court case.
Asked to explain why the Duchess was “vulnerable” at the time of the newspaper printed her private letter to her father Thomas Markle Snr, Meghan’s legal team said: “The Claimant had become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media, specifically by the Defendant, which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health.
“As her friends had never seen her in this state before, they were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself.”
Following the Mail on Sunday’s decision to publish extracts of a personal letter the Duchess sent to her father, Meghan sued Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday as well as the Daily Mail and the MailOnline, for misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.
The newspaper denies the claims.