Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had to make an emotional farewell to their most trusted members of staff before the couple attended their final royal engagement in March 2020.
As they prepared for the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey, the couple spent their last morning as working members of the Royal Family.
Although they arrived at the televised event looking happy and sitting alongside the Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, just moments before Meghan said a tearful goodbye to staff. Hugging those she had worked closely with throughout her time at the Royal Family, Meghan simply said: “I can’t believe this” as the tears began to flow.
Royal journalist turned authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Duran revealed in their biography Finding Freedom, what happened on the couple’s last day as official royals. They write: “Harry quietly slipped through the door of the 1844 Room to say hello, and the reality – and the emotions – finally set in.
“Meghan turned around to hug goodbye the last remaining people in the room, including an author of this book. “With the state room almost empty except for a few familiar faces, the tears the duchess has been holding back were free to flow. “She embraced some of the dedicated team members whose tireless efforts – to promote the couple’s work, launch landmark projects, and deal with the near-daily crisis brought on by the tabloids – had come to an abrupt end.
“‘I can’t believe this’, she said, hugging one of the young female aides she had become close with. “Though Team Sussex was a much smaller operation than the more sophisticated offices at Clarence House and Kensington Palace, in the short space of a year since setting up, they had become like family.”
Meghan changed into the iconic green outfit she had selected for the historical event, and joked with staff that she was weaning her “last hat for a while”. The couple’s emotions were even more heightened when they found out that they were left out of the royal procession due to a last-minute change, and wouldn’t walk into the abbey with the Queen. According to the book, the couple was not consulted and were “very disappointed” by the decision.