As the Duke and Duchess settle into their married lives with the Royal Family, 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, as their personal protection officer departs.
The female bodyguard, who was by the Duchess’ side through her high-profile tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in the autumn, has left the Kensington Palace team after around six months.
She is understood to be leaving the Metropolitan Police for reasons unconnected to the Duke and Duchess or their household, and is said to remain highly regarded by colleagues.
The senior personal protection officer, who is not being named for security reasons, had been a prominent part of the Sussex’s security service as the only woman accompanying them on public engagements.
While the officer is understood to be leaving the Royal Household on good terms, described as “brilliant” by colleagues, 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.
The loss of the senior personal protection officer follows the departure of Melissa Touabti, the Duchess’ personal assistant who had previously worked for celebrities including Robbie Williams and left the palace last year after around six months.