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Prince William hands top honour to royal aide who called Meghan Markle 'bully'

NewsPrince William hands top honour to royal aide who called Meghan Markle 'bully'

An ex-royal aide who made a bullying complaint against Meghan Markle has received a top honour from Prince William at Windsor Castle.

Jason Knauf has been named Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) after being included in last year’s New Year’s Honours list as recognition of his services to the Royal Family.

The honorific title, which is bestowed by the King independently of Downing Street, pays recognition to those serving the monarch or the Royal Family in a personal way.

On Wednesday, Mr Knauf was presented with the honour at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, which was given to him by Prince William.

When employed by Prince Harry and Meghan as their communications secretary in October 2018, he emailed his concerns about Meghan to William’s then-private secretary, in an apparent attempt to force Buckingham Palace to implement protocols to protect staff.

READ MORE: Prince Harry offered Coronation olive branch by royal ally

Meghan’s legal team have consistently denied the bullying allegations, which first surfaced in 2021.

In the Sussexes’ controversial Netflix documentary series, Meghan’s lawyer claimed the former aide could not have given evidence in the Duchess’s copyright lawsuit against a newspaper publisher “without the authority of his bosses”.

During the final episode of the six-part documentary, Harry alleged there were attempts to try to “cover” the aide’s association with William, with Mr Knauf being described as a “former aide of Meghan and Harry” as opposed to, at the time, working as chief executive of William and Kate’s Royal Foundation.

A written statement from Mr Knauf’s legal team broadcast during the Netflix episode said: “These claims are entirely false. Mr Knauf was asked to provide evidence by both the Duchess of Sussex and Associated Newspapers.

“He was advised by counsel that evidence in his possession could be relevant and he then provided this directly to the court, staying neutral in the process.”

Before joining the royal institution, the American-born former corporate affairs executive worked for a range of institutions, from the office of the New Zealand prime minister to HM Treasury and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

READ MORE: Meghan ‘got what she wanted’ in ‘deliberate’ photoshoot after Coronation

He became the communications secretary to the then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry in 2015 before leading the press team for Meghan and Harry and later becoming a senior adviser to William and Kate.

Mr Knauf led a review of the Royal Foundation’s role and structure from March 2019, before becoming its chief executive in September of that year.

During his time Mr Knauf oversaw the launch of the Foundation’s Earthshot Prize – William’s ambitious £50million environmental prize, now an independent charity, which recognises solutions, ideas and technologies that “repair the planet”.

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