MEGHAN’S aides insist she knew “flashy earrings” were gifted by Saudi Crown Prince after he ordered the killing of a journalist, a royal expert has claimed.
The duchess was gifted the pair of glitzy chandelier earrings – which were reportedly valued at £500,000 – by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a wedding gift.
Meghan first donned the earrings three weeks after the murder and dismembering of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi[/caption]
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who reportedly approved that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi be “captured or killed”[/caption]
Saudi journalist and former editor-in-chief of the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan Jamal Khashoggi[/caption]
The earrings, triangular strings of coloured yellow diamonds set in white diamonds which palace sources attributed to Geneva watchmaker and jeweller Chopard, have been called “vulgar” in historian royal expert Robert Lacey’s new book.
In Lacey’s new book, Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, London antique jewellery Sandra Cronan is quoted as saying: “They’re surely too flashy for the royal family.
“They’re essentially a way of saying, ‘Look at all my money!’ ”
Lacey has also raised questions over the significance of the duchess’ jewellery choice for a state dinner in Suva during a royal tour on October 23, 2018.
Meghan donned the earrings three weeks after the murder and dismembering of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents, inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
The CIA said in a report released by President Joe Biden in March of this year that the prince approved that Khashoggi be “captured or killed”.
While Meghan would have known the identity the prince who had paid for the earrings, Lacey wrote, she may not have known that his hit squad had brutally dismembered Khashoggi’s body following her slaying.
However, this detail was widely published well before November 14, 2018, which was when the duchess wore the earrings for a second time, at a dinner to celebrate Prince Charles’ 70th birthday in London.
Several months later, Meghan told a gathering for International Women’s Day that she no longer used Twitter, however did read The Economist.
This was because she sought out “journalism that’s really covering things that are going to make an impact”, she said at the time.
Between November 1 and 14, 2018, the newspaper ran at least two major articles examining the role of Mohammed bin Salman in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
Pictured are the earrings believed to have been gifted by the Saudi Crown Prince[/caption]
The Duchess of Sussex reportedly donned earrings which were a wedding gift from bin Salman on a trip to Fiji[/caption]
The articles detailed how the Saudis had used their diplomatic mission in Turkey as a “torture chamber”.
At the time that Meghan wore the jewels, Kensington Palace said the earrings were “borrowed” but did not reveal from whom.
Meghan’s lawyers reportedly said every relevant staff member knew who the earrings were from but that she was unaware of rumours at the time that the prince was involved in the murder of Khashoggi.
However, as reportedly in Robert Lacey’s new book, Meghan had an acquaintanceship with another famous Saudi dissident; 27-year-old Loujain al-Hathloul, with whom Meghan had been pictured in a Vanity Fair shoot in October 2016.
Meghan was labelled an “Actor, Activist & Global Ambassador for World Vision”, appearing alongside Loujain al-Hathloul and other delegates, whom Meghan, in an post on her Instagram page, praised for “speaking out against human rights violations, environmental crises, gender equality issues, discrimination and injustice.
“They are the change,” the post read.
Lacey has questioned the viability of Meghan being unaware that al-Hathloul was kidnapped by a Saudi hit squad just a week after the crown prince had had lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
During the same visit, Mohammed bin Salman was said to have handed over the earrings, ahead of the duchess’ wedding two months later.
Loujain al-Hathloul was kidnapped in March 2018, for her continued criticisms of bin Salman’s absolutism.
Laceys book dubbed it “inconceivable” that Meghan did not know what had happened to her Saudi acquaintance, particularly as reports emerged in the months following, detailing Loujain being tortured in Saudi custody.
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Meghan’s official line – that the jewels were “borrowed”, was likely designed to avoid admitting their prominence, which was uncomfortable for a professed human rights campaigner.
The duchess’ legal team pointed out, when the story of the jewels emerged earlier this year, that the earrings were actually lodged as property in the name of the Queen – like all wedding gifts to members of the royal family.
Therefore Meghan’s claim was correct in its technicalities, though not in line with most people’s understanding of the word.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman meets U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry earlier this year[/caption]
Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, speaks to the press in 2018[/caption]