Meghan Markle wore earrings gifted to her by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince just weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it has been claimed.
The Duchess of Sussex was reportedly sent the Chopard earrings by Mohammad bin Salman when she married Prince Harry.
She is said to have surprised staff by wearing them to a state dinner in Fiji in 2018, despite reports implicating the Saudi royal in the Khashoggi murder.
The Washington Post columnist was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2 that year, as he was picking up documents allowing him to marry his fiancee.
According to The Times, staff were “concerned” when they saw Meghan wearing the earrings – but did not raise it.
Lawyers told The Times Meghan was unaware of the rumours at the time.
An insider told the newspaper: “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 again at Prince Charles’ 70th birthday party at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 2018.
At the time of the Fiji tour, reporters were told the earrings were “borrowed”.
There is no suggestion that the Crown Prince gave the earrings to the Duchess personally, and she is not known to have ever met him.
Lawyers told The Times that Meghan was unaware of the rumours of the Crown Prince’s involvement in the Khashoggi murder, and said all staff knew where the earrings were from.
The Mirror has approached Harry and Meghan – who are due to give a tell-all interview to Oprah Winfrey at the weekend – for comment.
Kensington Palace declined to comment on whether it was the duchess’ decision to wear the earrings.
Meghan has previously shown her support for woman’s rights in Saudi Arabia, appearing alongside activist Loujain al-Hathloul in 2016.
The campaigner, who lobbied for women to be allowed to drive, was arrested in May 2018 – shortly before Meghan and Harry’s wedding – and her family claim she was tortured.
Last month the Joe Biden administration released a declassified report claiming the Saudi Crown Prince approved the murder of Khashoggi.
“We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in the report.
“We base this assessment on the Crown Prince’s control of decisionmaking in the Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Muhammad bin Salman’s protective detail in the operation, and the Crown Prince’s support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi.”
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