Meghan Markle is said to be “saddened” by reports she faced a bullying complaint from a Kensington Palace aide, her spokesman has said.

A source told The Times newspaper that the Duchess of Sussex drove two personal assistants out of Kensington Palace and undermined a third.

Jason Knauf, then the Sussexes' communications secretary, made the complaint in October 2018 to protect staff coming under pressure.

But Meghan’s spokesman said: “The duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma.

“She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”

The Times report that Knauf wrote in his email: “I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable.”

He added: “The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence.

“We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y.”

The email was sent to the HR department and expressed concern about the couple’s private secretary Samantha Cohen and the stress she felt.

It concluded: “I questioned if the Household policy on bullying and harassment applies to principals.”

Another source told the newspaper: “Senior people in the household, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, knew that they had a situation where members of staff, particularly young women, were being bullied to the point of tears.

“The institution just protected Meghan constantly. All the men in grey suits who she hates have a lot to answer for, because they did absolutely nothing to protect people.”

The report comes just days before Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey is due to be aired.

The CBS two-hour special will be screened on Sunday in the US and is expected to be shown in the UK on March 8.

ITV has won the bidding war to air the interview in the UK, with the network announcing on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday that it would be screening the programme next Monday. MailOnline has reported ITV’s deal to secure the rights is worth around £1 million.

The royal household will be braced for the show’s revelations as the couple discuss their life within the royal family and their exit from the working monarchy.