Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Have Lost Another Key Member of Kensington Palace Staff

Lucy Wood

From Marie Claire

It’s the first Christmas for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as a married couple (and their last before a third member of the family joins them) but, rather than peace on earth and good will to all royal couples, it’s shaping up to be the season of stress for the Sussex household. Exactly one month after it was revealed that Meghan’s personal assistant had unexpectedly quit the gig, Meghan and Harry’s interim private secretary has now revealed that she too will be stepping down from her post.

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The Sunday Times reports that Samantha Cohen, who you’ll often be able to spot in the background of the Duke and Duchess’s public appearances, has chosen not to keep the job permanently. Instead, she intends to leave her position for good once the royal baby has arrived in the new year.

50-year-old Cohen, dubbed Samantha The Panther by royal press, is originally from Australia, and has been a highly regarded member of the team for 17 years. She once worked as Queen Elizabeth II’s assistant private secretary, but announced her resignation from that role last summer to step across to the Sussexes.

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Her job was reportedly to help Meghan make the huge, complicated jump from Hollywood to royal life before and after the royal wedding. Reportedly “well-liked and unstuffy”, and “the perfect aide to help guide Meghan in some of the complexities of protocol”, the Times claims that the Duchess had hoped to keep Cohen on her team permanently.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Kensington Palace private secretary had other ideas, but will be on hand to help find a suitable replacement for the couple in 2019.

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An insider said: “Sam will be a huge loss. Going forward, Meghan might need someone cut from a slightly different cloth to traditional courtiers, who is not a career civil servant or royal insider”.

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While it’s likely to just be your typical change in circumstances (working on that royal tour would probably lead anyone to need a break), it’s not ideal timing for Meghan. The Duchess has already been bombarded with hurtful headlines regarding apparent “difficult behavior” recently, not to mention the constant talk of that rumored fall-out with sister-in-law, Kate Middleton. Cohen's unexpected departure from the family probably isn't going to do much to quash the gossip.

Wow. Another day, another royal drama.

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