Today is technically Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s last day as working members of the royal family, but they already closed the book on that chapter of their lives on Monday. With an Instagram post, they announced that the @SussexRoyal account would become inactive and that they would spend the next few months supporting solutions to the coronavirus crisis and focusing on their family.
A later statement from Buckingham Palace announced that their PR operation had moved to Los Angeles, where the couple is now reportedly living. They also made an announcement that indicated one way that Harry and Meghan’s legacy will stick around despite their absence. Though many of their staffers are leaving the palace altogether, their communication secretary, Sara Latham, will continue on as a part of Queen Elizabeth’s staff. She’ll report directly to the queen’s private secretary, Edward Young, and advise the office on special projects.
Latham was brought on to work in Meghan and Harry’s Buckingham Palace office last Spring, as the couple was separating from the Kensington Palace office they shared with Kate Middleton and Prince William. A former aide to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, she was chosen for her connections on both sides of the Atlantic. Some of Meghan and Harry’s palace staff are continuing to work with them, including James Holt, who will manage their press from the U.K., and Heather Wong, Harry’s former private secretary who will work on his initiative Travalyst. But ultimately 15 of their former employees were either laid off or offered other palace roles. Earlier this month, Meghan and Harry hosted a tearful goodbye lunch for their team at London’s Goring Hotel.
While Latham was working for Meghan and Harry, she helped them navigate a particularly complicated year—and reportedly set up a meeting between Meghan and Hillary Clinton last fall. She also helped organize an array of attention-grabbing events, like the nontraditional announcement of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s birth and a collaboration with Ed Sheeran to benefit mental health charity Heads Together. Now, she’ll be working with the queen’s experienced communications staff as they navigate a pivot to online engagement.
The Daily Mail spoke to one palace insider with a positive outlook about Latham’s move to the queen’s staff. “She’s very well-connected, has great vision and has been through a baptism of fire at the palace as a result of Megxit and came out the other side,” the source said. “She’ll be a breath of fresh air.” Another royal staffer praised her for her feistiness and loyalty.
As for Meghan and Harry, they’re looking forward to their lives in Los Angeles, even though their plans have been disrupted by the coronavirus crisis. “They are genuinely excited about the next chapter,” a source said to Vanity Fair Monday. “It hasn’t been an easy time for them but they are looking forward to starting a new chapter and being the couple they want to be. They really want to make a difference on a global level and they are very ambitious about what they want to achieve.”
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