To lose one personal assistant might be regarded a misfortune, but lose two and it starts to look like carelessness.
Meghan Markle is at the center of a new maelstrom of gossip after it was reported in The Sunday Times that her much-respected private secretary, Samantha Cohen, 50, intends to leave royal service after Meghan’s baby is born next spring, while another report claims that tensions between William and Harry are at the heart of the recently-revealed frostiness between the two families.
The report in The Sun says that William’s questioning of Meghan’s suitability as a bride after he first met her is at the heart of their brotherly discord.
Cohen—nicknamed Samantha the Panther—worked for the queen for 17 years as assistant private secretary and then press secretary. She got the job after spotting an advert in the paper while on holiday from her native Australia, but said she was leaving that role after a palace coup orchestrated by Prince Charles saw her boss, Sir Christopher Geidt, pensioned off.
She was persuaded to stay on in Palace employ working for Meghan and Harry on an interim basis, but it was no secret that the Sussexes hoped to retain her full time.
News of her departure will do little to help quash stories that Meghan is not easy to work for; another assistant Melissa Touabti, who previously worked for Robbie Williams, quit after six months in her job with rumors circulating that Meghan’s behavior left her in tears.
Meghan is said to be a demanding boss; she is reported to email ideas and requests to palace staff as early as 5 a.m.
A source told The Sunday Times: “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.”
The Sunday Times quoted a royal source saying: “Samantha will assist the couple with finding her replacement in the new year.”
Meanwhile, the report in The Sun alleges that tension between William and Harry, not Meghan and Kate, is primarily to blame for the split between the two couples.
A courtier told The Sun: “It’s my opinion that Harry feels he couldn’t protect his mother, so he’s going all out to protect his wife. This is his way of atoning.”
The Sun’s Emily Andrews reports that after William first met Meghan, he expressed doubts to Harry over the match.
The Sun’s source says: “William told his brother they knew nothing about her background, her intentions, what she was really like. He just wanted to stress that becoming part of the Royal Family is a massive undertaking and the pressure and scrutiny is unrelenting. Was Meghan the right one?”
The reaction was that, “Harry went mental,” according to a friend and, “accused his brother of trying to finish his romance before it had begun. The brothers’ relationship has not really recovered.”
Intriguingly The Sun reports that it was Meghan who ordered her father should be cut off after he let her down, but William, “having lost his mum — couldn’t understand ignoring a parent, whatever they’d done. He thought Meghan was making a mistake.”