There's been a Meghan Markle and Prince Harry-shaped hole in the royal family ever since the couple announced they were stepping down from their senior roles at the start of the year. And while, at the time, the Sussexes insisted they would be "balancing" their time between the United Kingdom and North America, it's looking less and less likely that this will not be the case.
According to a new report from the Daily Mail, Meghan and Harry have now officially let go the 15 members of staff they had working for them in the UK, and have closed their Buckingham Palace office. Among the employees who have lost their jobs are the recently-appointed private secretary, Fiona Mcilwham and their head of communications Sara Latham. It follows the redeployment of all the couple's staff who were working at their official residence, Frogmore Cottage, in January.
Buckingham Palace has said it won't comment on staffing matters, but it's believed that one or two workers may be given roles elsewhere within the royal household, while the majority are being made redundant.
A source revealed to the Mail: "Given their decision to step back, an office at Buckingham Palace is no longer needed. 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."
While the move to completely close their Buckingham Palace office certainly suggests the Sussexes don't plan to spend much time at all in the UK going forward (weep), it does seem to be in keeping with the decision made by Prince Harry - in conjunction with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William - to step down entirely from royal duties.
In their first big bombshell about their intended change of plan, Meghan and Harry declared they planned to "carve out a progressive new role within this institution", becoming "financially independent" from the royal family while simultaneously "continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen". But following discussions with the rest of the royal family, it was decided that that wasn't really possible; there was no real way the Duke and Duchess could continue doing some work for the royal family, while also pursuing commercial opportunities for income.
Similarly, while the Sussexes initially announced they wanted to divide their time between the UK and Canada, they have probably come to realise there won't be much need for them to reside part-time in the UK, seeing as their work here will be limited.
At current, Meghan, Harry and Archie are thought to be in the west coast of Canada, setting up their new, private life. The Duke and Duchess have already begun making appearances, however, having recently been to Miami for a talk and also visiting Stamford University in California.
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