Meghan Markle 'saddened' by palace bullying claims
Meghan Markle (Michele Spatari:AFP)

Meghan Markle is "saddened" by reports published Wednesday saying she faced a bullying complaint during her time living at Britain's Kensington Palace before she stepped back from royal duties, her spokesman said.

The Times newspaper made the claims against the wife of Prince Harry, which are alleged to date back to October 2018 and involve members of the royal household staff.

The report came just days before the broadcast of an interview that Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, as she is formally known, gave to US chat show host Oprah Winfrey about their decision last year to leave frontline royal duties.

"The duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself," her spokesman said.

"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."

The couple said The Times was being used to "peddle a wholly false narrative" before the television interview.

There was no immediate comment from Buckingham Palace nor Kensington Palace, where Meghan and Harry lived with his older brother Prince William and his wife Kate until 2019.

Harry, who is Queen Elizabeth II's grandson, married Meghan in a glittering wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018.

The former army officer's marriage to the mixed race former television actress was seen as breathing new life into the centuries-old British monarchy.

But the couple announced early last year that they were stepping back from their duties, in part because of what they saw as unfair media coverage.

They moved to the United States and have since permanently quit as working royals, relinquishing their honorary titles and patronages, Buckingham Palace announced last month.

Their interview with Oprah Winfrey is due to air on Sunday. They are expected to lift the lid on life inside the royal family following their fairytale wedding and the reasons for their split.

It comes as Harry's grandfather, the queen's husband Prince Philip, has been in hospital for several weeks under treatment for an undisclosed infection, sparking fears for his health.

The 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh was transferred to a specialist cardiac unit on Monday for tests on a pre-existing heart condition.

Since relocating to the United States, Harry and Meghan have embarked on several commercial ventures, including lucrative tie-ups with the streaming platforms Netflix and Spotify.

They have also taken legal action against a number of media publications, alleging invasion of privacy following what they described as intolerable media pressure in Britain.

Following a comprehensive victory in February against Associated Newspapers which published a private letter written by Markle to her father, she was awarded £450,000 ($627,000, 520,000 euros) as interim payment of legal costs on Tuesday.