In the most obvious sign yet that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have no plans to live in the UK in the future, the couple has sacked all 15 of their UK-based employees and closed their Buckingham Palace office.

The Daily Mail reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex delivered the bad news to the team in person in January, around the time they announced their decision to step back as senior royals and live in Canada.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have axed their entire team of staff in the UK. Photo / AP
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have axed their entire team of staff in the UK. Photo / AP

According to the outlet, one or two may be absorbed into other royal households, but most are now in the process of negotiating their redundancy packages.

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"Given their decision to step back, an office at Buckingham Palace is no longer needed," a source told the Daily Mail.

"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."

Among the casualties is the couple's private secretary, Fiona Mcilwham, and communications chief Sara Latham.

While the news no doubt came as a disappointment to the team, the source insisted that the "loyal" staffers "understand and respect the decision [the Sussexes] have taken."

Harry and Meghan released a statement in early January, declaring their intention to "step back" from the royal family after a bruising year in the spotlight. After fast-tracked negotiations with senior royals and government officials, the couple was granted permission to base themselves in Canada and quit their official duties.

However, in a statement the Queen specified that they would no longer be able to use their HRH status or represent her, and would have to pay back the $4.5 million charged to taxpayers for renovations on their UK home, Frogmore Cottage.

The couple is now based in Canada. Photo / AP
The couple is now based in Canada. Photo / AP

Significantly, Harry was also stripped of his military titles and patronages – a section of his work he has long been most passionate about.

Before departing Britain to be reunited with his wife and baby son Archie on Vancouver Island last month, he gave an emotional speech at a charity fundraiser in London, where he spoke frankly about his family's decision.


"Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited, we were hopeful, and we were here to serve," Harry told guests at the Sentable dinner.

"For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this.

"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back, is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven't always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option."