Excerpts from a new book show that staff members serving Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, referred to Meghan as a “narcissistic sociopath.”
The book “Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown,” was written by Valentine Low, a veteran of reporting on the royals.
The book says the toxicity of working for Meghan was such that some members of their staff called themselves, “the Sussex Survivors Club,” according to Sky News Australia.
The book, scheduled for release Oct. 6, says Markle wanted conflict, quoting a source as saying, “She wanted to be rejected, because she was obsessed with that narrative from day one.”
“She was saying, ‘If you don’t put out a statement confirming I’m your girlfriend, I’m going to break up with you,’” the book quotes one source as saying, adding from another that Harry “was freaking out, saying, ‘She’s going to dump me.’”
When the issue of complaints from staff was raised in 2017, the book says Meghan shot it down by saying, “It’s not my job to coddle people.”
The book tells an early anecdote of how she treated her staff.
“At around the same time [prior to the Harry-Meghan wedding], Meghan spoke particularly harshly at a meeting to a young female member of the team in front of her colleagues. After Meghan had pulled to shreds a plan she had drawn up, the woman told Meghan how hard it would be to implement a new one,” the excerpt said.
“Don’t worry,” Meghan told her, according to the excerpt. “If there was literally anyone else I could ask to do this, I would be asking them instead of you.”
Another staffer said the abuse was relentless, according to the book:
“On another occasion, when Meghan felt she had been let down over an issue that was worrying her, she rang repeatedly when the staffer was out for dinner on a Friday night. ‘Every ten minutes, I had to go outside to be screamed at by her and Harry. It was, “I can’t believe you’ve done this. You’ve let me down. What were you thinking?” It went on for a couple of hours.’ The calls started again the next morning and continued ‘for days’, the staffer said. ‘You could not escape them. There were no lines or boundaries – it was last thing at night, first thing in the morning.’”
The excerpts claim freebies were at the center of Meghan’s fight with former personal assistant Melissa Touabti.
“Clothes, jewelery, candles… It was absolutely nonstop,” said a source, according to the book, which said Touabti tried to enforce the rule that royal family members do not take gifts from businesses.
“Her approach did not go down well with Meghan,” the book reports.
When a mixup took place, and a staffer had to call Meghan, missed her, and awaited a return call, the book recounts the staffer’s terror.
“She hasn’t called back. I feel terrified,” the staffer said, adding, “This is so ridiculous. I can’t stop shaking.”
The book said the bottom line, according to one source, was that: “There were a lot of broken people. Young women were broken by their behavior.” Other sources use words like “outrageous bullies,” and “dreadful” to describe the couple.
The book includes what it said was an email from Jason Knauf, communications secretary for the couple, who had previously held the same role for Harry’s older brother, Prince William, and his wife, Kate.
Knauf, an American who had also worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland, complained of “some very serious problems” with Meghan.
“The duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying X [name withheld by author] and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards X despite the universal views from her colleagues that she is a leading talent within the household who is delivering first-rate work,” the email said, according to the book.
The book quotes a source as saying former royal aide Samantha Cohen, former assistant private secretary to the now-deceased Queen Elizabeth II, “always made clear that it was like working for a couple of teenagers. They were impossible and pushed her to the limit. She was miserable.”
The book said Meghan did not understand the duties of a member of the royal family, particularly the outings in which they met the public.
“I can’t believe I’m not getting paid for this,” she said, the book quotes a source as saying, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
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