Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s reign of terror is currently fluctuating somewhere between King Henry VII and Idi Amin in terms of sheer ruthless blood lust. Fresh off from reporting that Meghan and Harry flew commercial for a brainstorming session at Stanford University, The Daily Mail is reporting that in the wake of Sussexodus, Meghan and Harry have “axed” their Buckingham Palace staff, and I think they mean for you to take that literally. I know I pictured Meghan and Harry calling all their footmen, chambermaids, ladies-in-waiting, butlers and scullery maids to assemble on the front lawn, chins up and at attention, only to be mowed down by Harry with a Victorian hunting rifle at Meghan’s request. But in reality, it’s not quite that dramatic.
They’re closing their office, much as Prince Andrew did when he stepped back from royal duties, and in doing so, some of their staff will be reassigned within the palace. However, most of their senior staff, like communications chief Sara Latham (who was a senior campaign manager for Hillary Clinton) and assistant communications secretary Marnie Gaffney (who was named a member of the Royal Victorian Order by The Queen), have been let go with a severance package and some really great work experience. I’m sure they’ll land on their heads, not lose them. I doubt any of the “axed” staff will be kicking it with Henry VIII’s dead wives who I’m sure still haunt the halls of Buckingham Palace. You can’t pin all the nocturnal wailing and moaning on Prince Andrew alone. DM reports:
Harry and Meghan are axing 15 staff and closing their Buckingham Palace office. It is the surest sign yet that the couple and their son Archie are unlikely ever to return to the UK to live.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke the news to their team in person in January following the announcement that they were stepping down as senior working royals.
While one or two may be absorbed back into the royal household, most are now negotiating redundancy packages.
They are the latest casualties of Harry and Meghan’s bombshell decision to move to North America and make their fortunes outside the Royal Family.
Among those to lose their jobs are the couple’s newly appointed private secretary, Fiona Mcilwham – although she is on secondment from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and is likely to be found in a role in Whitehall – and their hugely experienced communications chief Sara Latham.
Harry’s long-standing programme co-ordinator Clara Loughran, who was so well regarded by the prince that she was asked to hand Meghan her bouquet in church on her wedding day, will go.
Before they turn the lights off for good, “one or two other engagements are being scheduled before the couple return to Canada to embark on their new life.” Hopefully these highly paid professionals won’t be out to sabotage their soon to be ex-employers by sneaking laxatives in their tea before speaking engagements.
One royal source told the Mail: ‘I don’t think it will comes as surprise to anyone that these have been incredibly trying circumstances for their team, who have experienced some very difficult times of late. They are all good people, very loyal and brilliant at their jobs, and everyone feels incredibly sorry for them.’
Another insider made clear that the couple’s decision to hire a team of US-based agents and publicists, many of whom worked for Meghan when she was an actress, had made life incredibly difficult for their Palace staff.
Replaced by Americans is Daily Mail commentator Richard Kay‘s least favorite song. He is particularly put out by this staff-massacre. After conceding that “no one can truly say they didn’t see this coming,” he opined:
Even so there was a ruthlessness to the news that they have given marching orders to virtually all their Palace staff whose only crime had been to serve the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with nothing short of absolute devotion.
How hollow those reassuring words, issued just a month ago on behalf of the couple that they would divide their time – and their responsibilities – between the UK and Canada, now sound.
For the only interpretation to be drawn from the Daily Mail’s revelation is that the idea of a half-in, half-out existence – with them choosing what they would do to help the Queen and when they would do it – was nothing less than half-baked.
It now looks like little more than a slice of royal deception, sold to us to make their departure from these shores somehow more palatable.
Look for his upcoming memoir, Duped By A So-Called Duchess, everywhere books are sold.