'She has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths' - Meghan Markle's friends back anti-bullying campaign
Close friends of the Duchess of Sussex have spoken out in support of Meghan to counter the "global bullying" directed at the royal.
The five unnamed women have painted a picture of a genuine, home-loving wife who has created a cosy cottage for her herself and husband Harry, in an interview with a US magazine.
A friend of the duchess, described as a former co-star, told the publication People: "Meg has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths.
"We worry about what this is doing to her and the baby. It's wrong to put anyone under this level of emotional trauma, let alone when they're pregnant."
It emerged last week that Kensington Palace staff are spending hours each week moderating online abuse aimed at Meghan, a former star of the show Suits, and the Duchess of Cambridge.
One friend countered reports that Meghan's estranged father, Thomas Markle, has said he cannot contact his daughter, telling the magazine: "He's never called; he's never texted. It's super-painful."
Another friend described how they have all visited Meghan and Harry's home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, and how their lifestyle is the opposite of perception - a "cosy" home where she prepares the meals for her herself and her husband.
Meghan is thought to be approaching the seventh month of her pregnancy and footage has emerged showing her baby bump moving during her visit to Bristol last week.
A segment of Meghan's Oscar de la Renta outfit is seen to jump out - as if kicked by her baby - when she visited the city's Famous Bristol Old Vic theatre with husband Harry.
When her stomach moves the duchess, who is holding her bump, glances down briefly.
Meghan revealed in mid January her baby is due around the end of April or beginning of May.