Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Lay off 15-Member London Staff Amid Royal Exitby Hannah Barnes
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are currently residing in Canada after announcing their royal exit in January, and the couple has reportedly made a major change to their life in the U.K., letting go of all 15 staff members who served their office in Buckingham Palace.
The Daily Mail reports that Markle and Harry told the team the news in January, after they had shared their announcement stating their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family. At the time, there were reports of staff members being "redeployed," and the Mail alleges that while some of the Sussex's staff may be "absorbed back into the royal household," many are currently negotiating severance packages.
"Given their decision to step back, an office at Buckingham Palace is no longer needed," one source said. "While the details are still being finalised and efforts are being made to redeploy people within the royal household, unfortunately there will be some redundancies."
Affected staff members reportedly include private secretary Fiona Mcilwham, communications chief Sara Latham, assistant communications secretary Marnie Gaffney and Harry’s program coordinator Clara Loughran.
"The Duke and Duchess have a small team, less than 15 people. The team are very loyal to the Sussexes and understand and respect the decision they have taken," a source said. "They are all close and supporting each other. The team are busy helping to set their Royal Highnesses up for the future and working on a series of final engagements."
The Sunday Times reports that Harry and Markle will soon participate in a final round of royal engagements before returning to Canada and in addition, the couple and their son, Archie, will reportedly attend the Commonwealth Service for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey in London on March 9.
Since their announcement, the Sussexes have been living in Canada in North Saanich on Vancouver Island. Markle traveled there to be with Archie, who had remained in Canada after the holidays, shortly after the big announcement while Harry stayed in the United Kingdom for a time to sort out the details of the decision with his family.
Last week, they attended JP Morgan's Alternative Investment Summit in Miami, where they both spoke and were reportedly paid $1 million to do so. In their statement announcing that they were stepping back, Harry and Markle also expressed a wish to become financially independent, though it remains to be seen how they will go about doing so.
Photo Credit: Anwar Hussein, Getty