Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have reportedly dismissed their UK staff. According to The Daily Mail, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are currently based in North America, have axed 15 staff members, and are closing their Buckingham Palace office following their royal exit last month. The outlet reports that one or two of the Sussexes’ former employees might be “absorbed back into the royal household,” but most are negotiating severance packages. “Given their decision to step back, an office at Buckingham Palace is no longer needed,” a source told the outlet. “While the details are still being finalized and efforts are being made to redeploy people within the royal household, unfortunately there will be some redundancies.”
“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,” the source added. “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.”
Among those let go are Clara Loughran, who had the special role of handing Meghan her bouquet at her and Harry’s 2018 royal wedding, in addition to communications chief Sara Latham, who previously worked for Barack Obama and as an advisor for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and assistant communications secretary Julie Burley, who led comms for the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014 and has worked on it ever since, in addition to managing the couple’s UK engagements and relationships with patronages. HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO! understands that one of the longest serving members of the team, Marnie Gaffney, was asked to stay on in another role at the palace, but chose to move on after a decade of service with the royal family.
Meghan and Harry shocked the world in January with their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family. After a royal summit with the Queen, it was decided that the Duke and Duchess would step back from royal duties, no longer receive public funding and can no longer formally represent Her Majesty. The Sussexes will divide their time between Canada and the UK, where they are keeping their home, Frogmore Cottage.
Since their departure from the UK, the pair has been renting a mansion on Vancouver Island in Canada. Last week, Meghan and Harry made a surprise public appearance at a JPMorgan event in Miami Beach where the Duke gave a speech. Days later on February 11, Archie Harrison’s parents popped up on the West Coast visiting California’s Stanford University for a brainstorming session with academics and professors. A palace source told HELLO!: "As part of their ongoing work to develop and build their new charitable organization, they had a brainstorming session and meetings with academics and professors."