The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have bid a sad farewell to Ms Samantha Cohen, who has been serving as their private secretary. The news was announced on the Court Circular on Friday: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex this afternoon received Ms Samantha Cohen upon relinquishing her appointment as Private Secretary to Their Royal Highnesses.”
The royal couple have employed Fiona Mcilwham as their new private secretary. Fiona, 45, was formerly the British Ambassador to Albania and reportedly won over palace officials, who had hoped to hire a joint private secretary from within the royal household roster.
Fiona has quite the résumé, becoming one of the youngest ambassadors for Britain when she was posted to Albania aged 35. She also previously worked as Director for Western Balkans and Enlargement at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom.
Before her time with the Sussexes, Samantha served as the Queen’s private secretary. Samantha transferred to work for Harry and Meghan as their interim private secretary whilst the couple were looking for a more permanent solution. Samantha recently joined the royals on their tour of Africa.
After Harry’s private secretary Ed Lane Fox stepped down earlier this year, Samantha filled his shoes. According to The Times, she handed in her notice last year, but agreed to stay after she was offered her new position. Originally from Australia, Samantha joined the Buckingham Palace communications office in 2001. She worked in civil service and public relations before joining the royals.