Meghan Markle’s female bodyguard, who was by the Duchess’s side throughout her high-profile tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in the autumn, has quit the team after just six months.
The bodyguard, who has been described as “brilliant” by colleagues, is understood to be moving on from the Metropolitan police.
It is understood that the reasons for her departure are unconnected to the Duke and Duchess or their household, and it is said she is highly regarded.
She had replaced Harry’s long-term head of security, Sergeant Bill Renshaw, who retired last year. Her appointment as the Sussexes’ chief protection officer was deemed a profound moment.
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.
Melissa Touabti, the personal assistant to the duchess, left the palace last year after six months. Samantha Cohen, the couple’s private secretary, is expected to leave later this year or next year after more than 17 years of working for the Royal Family.
The guard’s departure will likely be viewed as a significant loss to the Duchess – who’s a prominent advocate for women’s rights and gender equality.
She was said to be playing an instrumental part in enhancing security in Harry and Meghan’s new home, Frogmore Cottage, which the couple are expected to move into in the coming weeks.
The guard was thrust into the limelight in October last year during the couple’s visit to Suva, Fiji, where pregnant Meghan was suddenly whisked away from a busy marketplace, after the emergence of a perceived security threat.
Her replacement has not yet been identified according to sources, but with both the Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall opting to have female protectors, the Met may likely follow suit once more.