Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s axed royal aides ‘felt undermined by the couple’s celebrity pals’by Brittany Vonow
PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle's axed royal staff members felt undermined by their celebrity pals, it has been claimed today.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex cut 15 staff members in January - one of the surest signs they do not plan on ever returning to Britain long-term.
And it has since been claimed the couple's team were put through "trying times" in the lead up to Megxit.
A source told the Daily Mail the "loyal" staff had "done their best against a backdrop of multiple international advisers, publicists and high-profile friends" acting for Meghan and Harry.
A number of celebs have spoken out about the couple since their wedding - regularly weighing in on media coverage and their future.
Just one example is when five close friends spoke with People magazine to defend Meghan Markle over her relationship with her dad - claiming she had written to him begging him to stop "victimising" her.
But the move backfired, with Thomas Markle later releasing the letter.
Her estranged dad claimed the five-page letter had been a "dagger to the heart" which left him "devastated".
The letter has now become the subject of a landmark lawsuit as Meghan Markle pursues legal action against the Mail on Sunday, claiming they unlawfully published the privately penned piece.
Other celebs have also spoken out about the couple, with George Clooney - who attended their May 2018 wedding - saying Meghan "knows how to handle" the press.
Elton John also weighed in to defend the couple when they were criticised for taking four private jets in just 11 days.
And Oprah Winfrey praised Meghan for being "warm and loving".
Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, announced in January they were quitting as royals in a bombshell announcement before holding crunch talks with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William over how their new lives would work.
The couple fled with baby Archie to Canada where they are currently holed up in an £11million mansion on Vancouver Island.
And they have now cut ties with much of their UK team, telling them in person during their brief return to the UK in January, following reports Meghan had hired a US-based team of agents and publicists that worked with her during her days as an actress.
It is believed that while a couple of their team may find work in the royal household, the bulk will now be negotiating their redundancy packages.
Senior members of the royal family, including the Queen, Charles and William were said to be aware of the office closure and redundancies.
Among those reportedly axed were communications chief Sara Latham - who previously worked for the Obamas, and newly-appointed private secretary Fiona Mcilwham.
They are all good people, very loyal and brilliant at their jobs, and everyone feels incredibly sorry for themRoyal source
Assistant communications secretary Marnie Gaffney is also understood to be leaving.
She helped organise the Sussexes' successful tours in Australia and Africa and the Queen made her a member of the Royal Victorian Order as a thank you for her devoted service.
The other press officer to reportedly lose her job is Julie Burley, who worked for Harry, William and Kate on their Heads Together mental health campaign.
Harry’s programme co-ordinator Clara Loughran, who was asked to hand Meghan her bouquet on her wedding day, will lose her position, it's reported.
And social media expert David Watkins — who was poached from Burberry in August — will also go.
A source said the close-knit team were rocked by the news and described them as loyal “to a fault”.
The insider added: “They are all good people, very loyal and brilliant at their jobs, and everyone feels incredibly sorry for them.”
It comes as reports claimed Harry is “much happier and more relaxed in Canada” and has no “regrets” about quitting the Royal Family.
An insider told US Weekly: “Harry’s much happier in Canada and feels a lot more relaxed.
“So far he doesn’t regret the move.”
Sara Latham director of communications for Harry and Meghan is another high-profile staffer to be axed