Meghan Markle's Ex-Aide Samantha Cohen Speaks Out After Palace Bullying Investigation

Cohen left her job at Buckingham Palace during her assignment to aid Markle, and has now shared her experience with the public.

Samantha Cohen worked on the staff of Buckingham Palace for nearly two decades before leaving in 2019 – during her assignment as an aide to Meghan Markle. Cohen was one of 10 employees questioned in an internal investigation of Markle's treatment of palace staff. Last month, she spoke about that investigation and her experience overall in an interview with The Herald Sun.

Buckingham Palace reportedly opened an investigation into Markle's behavior in March of 2021 amid reports that Markle had driven two personal assistants away and had "humiliated others." Those internal tips were anonymous, but Cohen spoke about the situation on the record. She said that she had originally been assigned to a role on Markle's staff for six months, but had stayed there longer because the palace struggled to find replacement staffers. 

(Photo: MICHELE SPATARI/AFP via Getty Images)

She said: "I was only supposed to stay for six months but stayed for 18 – we couldn't find a replacement for me and when we did, we took them on tour to Africa with Harry and Meghan to show them the ropes, but they left (quit) as well while in Africa."

So far, Markle has not responded publicly to Cohen's interview, but she did deny these bullying allegations when they first surfaced. Back in 2021, The Times of London reported on this investigation the day before Markle and Prince Harry sat down for their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. A spokesperson for Markle said that the investigation was just the "latest attack on her character."

The investigation was completed in June of 2023, but the results were never released to the general public. The palace announced that it would protect the confidentiality of the employees who took part. Officials did say that the investigation had prompted some changes to the human resources policy at the palace, but did not specify what those changes were.

Markle married Prince Harry in May of 2018 and moved into Nottingham Cottage, a residence on the grounds of Kensington Palace. They later moved to Frogmore Cottage, which is on the grounds of Windsor Castle, and lived there until they resigned from official royal duties altogether in March of 2020. They moved to North America and have lived in California since June of 2020. That means the two were living and working with royal staffers for less than two years, and as Cohen noted, they took several international trips during that time.

Markle and Prince Harry have opened up about their own experiences with the institutional monarchy in several venues, including Prince Harry's memoir Spare and their Netflix original series Harry & Meghan. The show is streaming now, and the book is available in print, digital, and audiobook formats.