Frogmore Cottage staff to be deployed elsewhere when Harry and Meghan in Canada

Staff at the Duke and Duchess' Windsor residence are being moved to other positions within the Queen's household, according to reports.

A source told the Daily Mail that staff at Frogmore Cottage were to work elsewhere with the paper saying it was the "surest sign yet" of the couple's move to Canada.

The source said: "The workers are already being offered other roles at Buckingham Palace.

"This has all come as a bit of shock. They took great pride in working for them and being at Frogmore."

Meghan and Harry have already begun their transition period of living in the UK and the Commonwealth country, where they hope to fulfil their dream of stepping back as senior royals and becoming financially independent.

The duchess is in Canada with son Archie and has carried out two charity visits since returning to the province of British Columbia, where the Sussexes spent six weeks over the festive period.

Photographs have also emerged of Meghan driving herself to Victoria International Airport near Vancouver sometime on Thursday apparently to pick up a friend.

There is speculation the couple will not be spending any meaningful time at their Frogmore Cottage home, which is close to Windsor Castle.

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Prince Harry steps out at Palace
The Duke of Sussex with children playing rugby in the Buckingham Palace gardens, London, as he hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex gestures during the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace in London on January 16, 2019. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JEREMY SELWYN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex gestures as he chats to school children prior to the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace in London on January 16, 2019. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JEREMY SELWYN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex in the Buckingham Palace gardens, London, as he hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex with children playing rugby in the Buckingham Palace gardens, London, as he hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives to watch children play rugby league prior to the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace in London on January 16, 2019. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League poses with children from a local school after watching them play rugby league in the Buckingham Palace gardens before the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League talks to children from a local school after watching them play rugby league in the Buckingham Palace gardens before the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Kids play rugby ahead of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League visit to host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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A source told the PA news agency: "No members of staff have been let go. In quiet periods, staff are often redeployed elsewhere around the estate."

Royal accounts published last summer revealed £2.4 million of taxpayers' money was spent on Meghan and Harry's grade II listed home, turning five properties back into a single residence for the couple and their baby son.

The amount spent was heavily criticised at the time by the organisation Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, but all fixtures and fittings for the home were paid for privately by the duke and duchess.

There is speculation over whether Harry's launch of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw on Thursday was his last royal engagement as a senior royal, but Commonwealth Day – celebrated on March 9 – will be the real test.

The day is a major event in the royal calendar that features all leading members of the monarchy, so if Harry and Meghan are not present it signals their new life away from frontline duties has begun.

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