Meghan Markle's 'blood-soaked' earrings: Staff were terrified to confront Duchess over gift from Saudi Prince
LONDON, UK: An upcoming book reveals that royal staff members were scared to confront the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about a pair of ''bloodsoaked" earrings gifted by the Saudi Prince. Valentine Low, a royal correspondent for The Times, writes in his book 'Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown' that Mohammad bin Salman gave the 'Suits' alum a pair of Butani yellow and white diamond earrings just a few weeks after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
The Duchess of Sussex wore the diamond earrings at a state dinner in Fiji in October 2018, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A US justice report found that the killing was authorized by Mohammed bin Salman. Initially, it was claimed to the media that Meghan's opulent chandelier earrings were "borrowed" from a jeweler. However, it turned out that they were a wedding gift from the prince, who was, at the time of wearing, charged with murdering Khashoggi.
The columnist was murdered on October 2 inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, and then his body parts were disposed of. The recent book asserts that the London-based staff members in charge of recording the specifics of all royal gifts recognized the Butani diamonds when they saw pictures of the duchess wearing them in Fiji. Low mentioned in his book, "When they had first appeared in the media after the Fiji dinner, staff in London responsible for registering details of all royal gifts had recognized them and alerted Kensington Palace."
The Daily Mail reports that after alerting Kensington Palace, it was decided not to bring up the matter with the Sussexes. Writing in 'Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown', Valentine Low cited a source saying, "We made a decision not to confront Meghan and Harry on it, out of fear for what their reaction would be."
Meghan wore the earrings once more the following month — to the 70th birthday celebration for the then-Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. Harry reportedly looked "shocked" that people knew where the jewels had come from after an aide brought up the issue with him later. He was never questioned, according to the couple's attorneys. The law firm Schillings made the following comments on Meghan's behalf, "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."
A spokesperson added two days later, "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." Additionally, attorneys contended that Meghan was unaware of Salman's alleged complicity in Khashoggi's murder.
Low's book also claims that Meghan whined about not being paid for walkabouts when on a royal tour to Australia. During their first royal trip of 2018, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex traveled for 16 days to Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand.