Meghan Markle once wore a pair of earrings that were a gift from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman some weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose death was, allegedly, sanctioned by the Saudi royal.

According to reports, the Duchess of Sussex used the chandelier earrings during a formal state dinner with Prince Harry and some officials in Fiji in October 2018. She received the jewelry as a wedding gift.

But Meghan was said to have told her staff to inform the press, who would be asking about her outfit, that the earrings were "borrowed" pieces. They were also told that they did not have to mention to whom it was borrowed from and simply say that it's from a jewelry designer.

Lawyers for the Duchess of Sussex, however, said that Meghan was not even aware that the Saudi Prince was rumored to have significant ties to the murder of Khashoggi at that time she wore the earrings. They claimed that when the duchess said "borrowed," she was referring to the Crown. In Britain, any gifts to members of the royal family from heads of state of foreign countries are officially regarded as owned by the Crown.

It was believed that the Saudi Prince gave the earrings when he was in London and had lunch with Queen Elizabeth ahead of Harry and Meghan's wedding in May 2018. The report did not say whether Meghan and bin Salman personally met.

The revelation came to light as bullying complaints against Meghan have also been exposed. These allegations against Harry's wife have been cited as a calculated move to discredit the couple just as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to bare their story for the first time in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan's camp has issued a statement saying that these latest reports are "based on misleading and harmful misinformation" and that the Duchess of Sussex is saddened by the turn of events. It comes after Winfrey's interview teasers have been released on CBS. One teaser showed the popular TV host asking Meghan, a formerly outspoken advocate if she chose to be silent when she joined the royal family or was "silenced" by Buckingham Palace.

Meanwhile, Khashoggi was a reporter and an outspoken critic of the Saudi leadership, who was killed inside a Saudi consulate while covering a story in Istanbul. Declassified U.S. intelligence reports revealed in February 2021 that the crown prince approved the journalist's killing. (Business Times)