This isn’t the first time the royal couple has laid off their staff; hopefully, however, it will be the last. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s reason for firing their Buckingham Palace staff was not something they considered lightly. It’s a decision that is sure to cause a lot of concern, especially after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex let go of their household staff at Frogmore Cottage in January. But according to sources and staffers close to the royal family, the layoffs were to be expected.
Ever since Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, announced their plans to “step back” from the royal family, the decision raised questions over what would happen to their estate and royal staff. With the couple’s sudden move to Canada and Meghan’s stay on Vancouver Island, it became clear that they would have little to do with properties back in the U.K. Prince Harry did return to Buckingham Palace to wrap agreements up following Sandringham Summit, with his visit meant to establish plans moving forward. Now we know that part of those discussions involved these layoffs.
On Thursday, the Daily Mail reported that all 15 staffers at Buckingham Palace were fired. According to a source for the paper, this was a natural yet unfortunate result of the royal couple’s move. “Given their decision to step back, an office at Buckingham Palace is no longer needed,” the source said. “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.”
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Notable employees, such as top communications staffer Sara Latham, private secretary Fiona Mcilwham, and deputy communications secretary Marine Gaffney will all leave the Palace. It doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that they’re out of jobs.
Cohen is expected to return to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, from where she was “on loan” for Meghan and Harry’s purposes. Meanwhile, Gaffney reportedly “had the option to go back to the Palace, and they wanted her to stay. But she decided it was a natural ending after a decade with the royal household,” says the Daily Mail source.