Amid the controversial bullying accusations surrounding Meghan Markle, friends of the former royal have come forward to shut down any rumors that could tarnish her reputation.
Scroll on to hear what they had to say...
Now, many would argue that, since stepping down as senior royals in January 2020, the scrutiny surrounding Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, has intensified to unimaginable levels.
In a joint statement via Instagram, Harry and Meghan announced that they wanted "a normal upbringing for their child" and they felt that spending their time between the U.K. and America would be much more appropriate for their family environment.
Quite understandably, this came as a huge shock worldwide...
As it did to the royal family themselves.
Reports at the time of the announcement claimed that the Queen wasn't notified of Harry and Meghan's plans to step down until after their social media revealation.
Her Majesty published a statement shortly afterward, which read:
"Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."
Harry's relationship with his brother, William, also came under strain following his departure, reports claimed.
via: GettyThe future King of England was reported to have distanced himself from Harry and Meghan, with claims surfacing that the pair didn't speak for months.
But, regardless of the controversy, the couple stuck to their word and made the move to Los Angeles...
Where they remain today in Montecito, Santa Barbara, an area renowned for its secluded hillside estates that promise the utmost privacy and, thus, have attracted a whole host of celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, and Ellen DeGeneres, who all own homes there.
In the past year, the couple has busied themselves with projects outside of the royal circle...
And various rumors of multi-million dollar Netflix and Spotify deals were quick to circulate online.
The pair seem to be living the lives they've always wanted in L.A...
Aw! Such incredible news. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting a second baby. Beautiful image. Happy Valentine’s Day all! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3v0M3NtHQy— Sarah Packer (@Sarah_EmilyP) February 14, 2021
And to make things even more exciting, they announced on Valentine's Day that they are expecting their second child together with this highly-publicized photoshoot.
But despite the big move and step down, the couple still weren't content with their roles in the British monarchy...
So, last month, they announced that they would officially not be returning as working members of the royal family.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said the royals were "saddened by their decision" but that Harry and Meghan "remain much-loved members of the family."
"Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service," the statement read.
"The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family."
Predictably, the announcement triggered a media storm...
I'm a Commonwealth citizen - old enough to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh awards & wave a Union Jack. I'm young enough to see my country become a Republic. Meghan & Harry look like the Commonwealth. They are young, vibrant. This is the Royal Family's loss.— Ceci (@cecijande) February 19, 2021
And among all of the love and support came the negativity and surges of criticism.
In the weeks following their dramatic departure, the couple remained relatively under the radar...
Until Harry took part in a widely televised interview with friend and host, James Corden, last week.
The royal appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden in his first public interview since stepping down to chat about his new life in L.A.
He was interviewed by Corden on an open-top tour bus - all while drinking tea, of course - as he opened up about what life has been like for him, Meghan, and Archie in the last year.
Here, Harry also revealed - for the first time - the reason he and Meghan stepped away from the royal family.
When asked, "what made you walk away from the royal family?", Harry politely corrected him by saying, "I didn't walk away."
"It was stepping back rather than stepping down. It was a really difficult environment that I think a lot of people saw... we all know what the British press can be like! And it was destroying my mental health, I was like 'this is toxic!'"
"I did what any husband and father would do."
"I needed to get my family out of there!" he then said.
"But we never walked away. And as far as I'm concerned whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away. I will always be contributing but my life is public service, so wherever I am in the world it's going to be the same thing."
"My life is always going to be about public service and Meghan signed up for that."
"The 2 of us enjoy doing that and trying to bring compassion and try to make people happy, and try to change the world in any small way we can," he explained.
Following this groundbreaking interview, it was then announced that the couple had sat with their friend and broadcasting giant, Oprah Winfrey, for a tell-all interview.
Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special will air on Sunday, March 7 at 8 P.M. EST on CBS. pic.twitter.com/XEa7GZ1hVA— Duchess Meg (@duchessmegfan) February 15, 2021
The highly-anticipated interview is set to air this weekend on March 7th.
However, with this announcement also came some news of a less favorable nature.
Reports of Meghan "bullying" service members during her time in Buckingham Palace resurfaced following Oprah's interview revealation.
A source told The Times that Meghan reportedly drove 2 personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third.
Jason Knauf, former communications assistant for the couple, allegedly submitted the complaint in October 2018 to protect palace staff who were allegedly coming under pressure from the duchess.
According to the report, an aide feared that a row may erupt over whether the Duchess had been told that the media would be present at an event.
The aid allegedly said:
"I feel terrified. I can't stop shaking."
Another source also claimed:
"There were a lot of broken people. Young women were broken by their behaviour." An ex-employee also alleged they'd been personally "humiliated" by Meghan.
Of course, Meghan has denied all allegations of bullying...
With a spokesman noting that she was "saddened by this latest attack on her character."
He then stressed that she "is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma."
As expected, Meghan has received a whole flurry of support since the allegations went public...
And this week, Omid Scobie, author of the Finding Freedom biography of the Sussexes, quoted a series of Meghan's friends standing up for her in a report for Harper's Bazaar.
Scobie, the royal editor of Harper's Bazaar, regularly stands up for Meghan on social media...
And claims that the couple, who deny helping him with his book, "knew that it would get ugly in the run up' before their Oprah Winfrey interview.
In his article, Scobie quoted a anonymous friend of Meghan to have said:
During the special, Duchess Meghan tells Oprah: “I don’t know how [the palace] could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent when there is an active role that the Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.” pic.twitter.com/w74YyXpP79— Omid Scobie (@scobie) March 4, 2021
"I hate to say it, but find me a woman of color in a senior position who has not been accused of being too angry, too scary, too whatever in the workplace. It's sad that it's happening, but I'm not surprised. These claims are so far from the woman I know."
He then quoted another friend to have said:
"Harry and Meghan knew that it would get ugly in the run-up but seeing such an obvious attempt at destroying her character was distressing and upsetting."
Oprah With Meghan And Harry: A CBS Primetime Special will premiere on CBS News on Sunday, March 7th at 8 pm.