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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle threw their axed staff a farewell lunch at The Goring Hotel where employees were 'left in tears' by an emotional toast, source tells Page Six

  • Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, threw 'farewell lunch' at The Goring 
  • 15 members of staff will lose jobs when couple closes Buckingham Palace office
  • Source told Page Six that the Sussexes 'toasted the team' at the emotional lunch
  • They revealed 'some of the staffers cried' at the meal last Thursday  

By Harriet Johnston For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle threw their axed-staff a farewell lunch at The Goring Hotel where some employees were 'left in tears' by an emotional toast, a source told Page Six. 

The Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 38, were seen leaving the exclusive five-star hotel, which is located next to Buckingham Palace and boasts exclusive dining rooms, last Thursday.

A source has now revealed how Prince Harry and Meghan organised the meal in order to thank their staff, who will lose their jobs when the couple close their office at Buckingham Palace on April 1, for their hard work. 

It is understood that while some of the staff may be able to find work in the royal household, most will negotiate redundancy packages. 

Meghan Markle, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, threw axed staff members a 'farewell lunch' at exclusive five-star The Goring Hotel last Thursday (pictured, at the Endeavour Award's that evening) 

The royal source said the couple had often done 'fun things' for their team, including throwing 'pizza parties' and 'hiring ice cream trucks' for the staff.   

But the couple wanted to do something 'special' for the hardworking staff in their final week of royal engagements. 

Staff were understood to be 'working around the clock' to ensure the last week went as smoothly as possible. 

The source explained: 'They toasted the team and thanked them for everything they have done. Some of the staffers cried.'  

A source revealed how the couple threw their 15 members of staff a farewell lunch which left 'some staffers in tears' (pictured, Head of communications, Sara Latham, during a visit by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Canada House in January) 

They added: 'Meghan and Harry really wanted to show their appreciation, they know how hard everyone has worked.'

Meghan wore a camel coat and £615 Aquazzura black heels and smiled as she was seen leaving the London hotel on Thursday, where rooms cost up to £8,400 a night.

Her husband Prince Harry was also spotted leaving the hotel just moments earlier as a member of the concierge team held an umbrella over his head in the rain.

The Goring is a long-time favourite of the royals, with the Duchess of Cambridge staying in its Royal Suite on the night before her wedding to William in 2011.

The couple were keen to thank their 'hard-working team' while on their farewell tour last week (pictured, Project manager to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Clara Loughran née Madden, at a visit to Abbey Road Studios in February) 

It is the only hotel to have received the Royal Warrant, awarded in 2013, for services to hospitality and was a firm favourite with the Queen Mother. 

Harry and Meghan broke the news that they would close their Buckingham Palace office to their team in person in January, following the announcement that they were stepping down as senior working royals.

It is understood that the Duke asked to be personally kept up to date with the redundancy negotiations.  

Clara was so well-regarded by the royal couple that she was asked to hand Meghan her bouquet on her wedding day 

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. 

Meghan Markle has already started her new life after flying straight to Canada from the Commonwealth Day Service to reunite with baby Archie, while Prince Harry has stayed in the UK.

The couple were snapped exiting the exclusive five-star London hotel last week on their first day back in the UK (pictured)

The Duke of Sussex was in Buckingham Palace yesterday for a series of meetings to plan his future work in the UK, as reported by The Telegraph.

It is understood that Harry will fly back to Vancouver Island soon, where the couple have been living in recent months their son at a luxurious £14million waterside mansion.

The couple also have to resolve the security issues around who will pay for their protection after their Buckingham Palace office closes on April 1.  


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