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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle axe 15 UK staff and close Buckingham Palace office

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from royal duties in January

prince harry meghan new zealand
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
14 February 2020
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are closing their Buckingham Palace office, resulting in job losses for up to 15 members of staff, it has been revealed. Prince Harry and Meghan have been living in Canada since announcing their decision to step back from royal duties in January, so the services of their team, including a private secretary and communications chief, are no longer required.

WATCH: Prince Harry gives his first speech since stepping back from royal duties

The team were reportedly notified about the office closure in January, and while some of the team may be given a new role working for the royal family, there will also be some redundancies. Among those let go are assistant communications secretary Julie Burley, who led communications for the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014 and has worked on it ever since, as well as managing the couple's UK engagements and relationships with patronages.

STORY: Prince Harry and Meghan to return to UK with baby Archie at request of the Queen

Other members of the team include Clara Loughran, who had the special role of handing Meghan her bouquet at the royal wedding in May 2018, and communications chief Sara Latham, who previously worked for Barack Obama and as an advisor for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Prince Harry Meghan Nottingham 2017© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan are closing their Buckingham Palace office

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.

MORE: Meghan Markle's role at Princess Beatrice's wedding revealed

Prince Harry and Meghan announced their shock decision to step back from royal duties in January, and after a royal summit with the Queen at Sandringham, it was decided that the couple can no longer formally represent Her Majesty and will no longer receive public funding. The couple is working to become financially independent, and on Tuesday they visited Stanford University in California to meet with academics and professors for a brainstorming session.

Prince Harry Archie Harrison Canada© Photo: Instagram

The Duke and Duchess have been living in Canada with their son Archie

A palace source confirmed the visit to HELLO!, saying: "As part of their ongoing work to develop and build their new charitable organisation, they had a brainstorming session and meetings with academics and professors."

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