Harry and Meghan have reportedly let all all 15 members of their UK go as they prepare to close their Buckingham Palace office. It is arguably the clearest sign yet that they will not return to the UK after their decision to “step down” from royal duties. It came as the couple prepare to spend Valentine’s Day together in Canada.
However, last year Harry embarked on a 700-mile journey from Britain to Norway as he travelled to meet Royal Marines training in Arctic conditions while leaving his wife at home.
Greeting him, Marines at Bardufoss had decorated a makeshift igloo – called a Quincey shelter – with candles and pictures of the royal wedding in honour of his visit.
Harry’s visit marked the 50th anniversary of the Commando Helicopter Force and Joint Helicopter Command, deployed to the base for extreme cold weather training.
His wife might not have been overjoyed, though, having previously confessed her devotion for Valentine’s Day.
Writing on her now-closed lifestyle blog in 2015, Meghan said: “Hook, line and sinker, I am such a sucker for Valentine’s Day.
“Without fail, every February 14th, I wake up feeling like I’m immersed in a Robert Doisneau photo, waiting with bated breath to be dipped into a kiss.
“This is all happening in black and white, of course.”
Norway, though, is a country close to Harry and Meghan’s hearts.
Royal author Katie Nicholl, in her 2017 biography ‘Harry: Life, Loss, and Love’ reveals how Prince William‘s brother took Kate Middleton‘s sister-in-law on a trip to see the Northern Lights in 2017.
She writes: “Ever since visiting the country as part of his training for his walk to the Arctic, he had vowed to return.”
A friend of the prince’s told the author: “I was with Harry when he saw the lights for the first time in 2011.
“He promised he’d come back with someone special.”
A friend explained: “Harry’s friend Inge Solheim, who is from Norway, planned a special few days for them.
“He knew that keeping the trip top secret was the priority.”
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Harry and Meghan have shaken the Royal Family to its core since their move to “step back” from senior duties.
Regarding their decision to dismiss Buckingham Palace staff, a royal source told the Daily Mail: “Given their decision to step back, an office is no longer needed.
“While the details are still being finalised and efforts are being made to redeploy people within the royal household, unfortunately there will be some redundancies.”
After announcing the decision to split, Harry said he initially hoped for a dual role in support of the Queen, the Commonwealth and military associations.
However in a speech at a charity event in London, the Duke conceded it “wasn’t possible”.
Harry said: “I want you to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share not as a Prince, or a Duke, but as Harry, the same person that many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years but with a clearer perspective.
“The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change.”
He added: “It brings me great sadness that it has come to this.”
The new royal arrangements will officially begin in the spring and will be reviewed in 2021.
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