Meghan’s body­guard quits after six months

The Daily Telegraph - - News - Royal Cor­re­spon­dent By Han­nah Fur­ness

AS THE Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex set­tle into their mar­ried lives, they are build­ing a small net­work of staff and ad­vis­ers to help them nav­i­gate work, se­cu­rity and loom­ing par­ent­hood.

That trusted cir­cle has suf­fered a set­back, it has emerged, with the de­par­ture of their per­sonal pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer.

The fe­male body­guard, who was by the Duchess’s side through­out her high­pro­file tour of Aus­tralia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in the au­tumn, has left the Kens­ing­ton Palace team after six months of ser­vice.

She is un­der­stood to be leav­ing the Metropoli­tan Po­lice for rea­sons un­con­nected to the Duke and Duchess or their house­hold, and is said to be highly re­garded.

The se­nior per­sonal pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer, who is not be­ing named for se­cu­rity rea­sons, had been a prom­i­nent part of the cou­ple’s se­cu­rity ser­vice as the only woman ac­com­pa­ny­ing them on pub­lic en­gage­ments.

While the of­fi­cer, de­scribed as “bril­liant” by col­leagues, is un­der­stood to be leav­ing the Royal house­hold on good terms, her de­par­ture will be seized upon by royal-watch­ers as the lat­est in a small list of blows for the Duchess of Sus­sex’s team.

Melissa

Touabti, the per­sonal as­sis­tant to the Duchess, left the palace last year after be­ing in the post for around six months, while Saman­tha Co­hen, the cou­ple’s ex­pe­ri­enced pri­vate sec­re­tary who pre­vi­ously worked for the Queen, is ex­pected to leave later this year or next year, hav­ing agreed to work for them on a tem­po­rary ba­sis un­til the po­si­tion could be per­ma­nently filled.

The pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer, who has the rank of in­spec­tor, is re­ported to have joined the Duke and Duchess in the sum­mer, re­plac­ing Prince Harry’s for­mer head of se­cu­rity, Sergeant Bill Ren­shaw, who re­tired after 31 years’ ser­vice in the po­lice force.

Yes­ter­day, The Sun­day Times re­ported that she had been work­ing with the Duke and Duchess on en­hanced se­cu­rity ar­range­ments at their fu­ture home of Frog­more Cot­tage on the Wind­sor Cas­tle es­tate, but had handed in her res­ig­na­tion to the Met.

She first came to pub­lic at­ten­tion dur­ing the tour “Down Un­der” in the au­tumn, draw­ing com­ment for wear­ing heels as she fit­ted in seam­lessly with a largely fe­male staff.

“As these of­fi­cers are by their prin­ci­pal’s side 24 hours a day, it is al­ways pref­er­en­tial to have a woman on the team,” a source told a news­pa­per.

“There are some things that a MRF [Mem­ber of the Royal Fam­ily] just feels more com­fort­able do­ing with a woman at her side. But to have a woman in charge of the team is pretty much un­heard of.”

Kens­ing­ton Palace and a spokesman for the Met Po­lice de­clined to com­ment.

The Duchess of Sus­sex has lost her ‘bril­liant’ fe­male pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer

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