Royal correspondent Valentine Low reported claims regarding a pair of controversial earrings donned by Meghan in his new book. The Duchess of Sussex was first seen wearing a pair of chandelier diamond earrings during the whirlwind tour of Oceania she undertook with Prince Harry in October 2018, just months after the coupled had tied the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The pieces of jewellery were donned during the state dinner thrown by Fiji President Jioji Konrote during one of the Sussexes’ stops.
At the event held on October 23 2018, Meghan paired the diamond earrings with just a thin bracelet and her wedding and engagement rings.
A few weeks later, Meghan was seen wearing the same earrings once again as she headed with Harry to the birthday party of the then Prince of Wales, who turned 70 on that year.
At the time it was reported the earrings had been borrowed, with Kensington Palace not disclosing who had given them to the Duchess, a move which sparked the curiosity of royal watchers.
It later emerged the jewels were a wedding present by Prince Mohammed.
Following this revelation, the use of the earrings became controversial in light of the killing of journalist Jamal Khasshoggi on October 2 2018, a few days before the beginning of the Sussexes’ first joint royal tour.
The journalist Saudi dissident was murdered in the consulate in Istanbul of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed had been accused of ordering his killing.
In September 2019, during an interview with CBS’s programme 60 Minutes, the Crown Prince denied this allegation or that he had prior knowledge about the murder.
In an edited extract from his upcoming book Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown, The Times royal correspondent Mr Low claimed staff responsible for registering details of all royal gifts had recognised the pieces of jewels and alerted Kensington Palace after noticing Meghan had worn them in Fiji.
However, the Sussexes’ aides decided “not to confront” the royals on the issue “out of fear for what their reaction would be”, according to a source reported by Mr Low.
An aide decided to discuss the provenance of the earrings with the Duke of Sussex after they noticed Meghan had worn them a second time.
Mr Low claimed in the extract published by The Times Harry “is said to have looked ‘shocked’ that people knew where the earrings came from”.
The lawyers of the Duke and Duchess, Mr Low added, “deny he was ever questioned about their provenance”.
Express.co.uk has contacted representatives of the Duke and Duchess at Archewell for comment.
Mr Law also said the law firm representing Meghan and Harry, Schillings, argued in February 2021 Meghan had “no idea about Sheikh Mohammed’s involvement in Khashoggi’s murder”.
The Duchess’ lawyers also contested claims that emerged last year Meghan had told her staff the earrings had been borrowed from a jeweller.
The firm added: “The Duchess is certain that she never said the earrings were borrowed from a jeweller.
“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.”
Meghan joined the Royal Family on May 19 2018 upon marrying Prince Harry.
The pair had been introduced by a common friend during the summer of 2016, with their relationship taking off immediately.
The Duke and Duchess stepped down as full-time working members of the Firm in the spring of 2020.
The pair now live in California with their son Archie Harrison and daughter Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana.
There, they continue their charitable work but have also become financially independent from British taxpayers and the Duchy of Cornwall by striking profitable deals with streaming giants Netflix and Spotify.