California

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘lose ANOTHER key aide’: Couple’s global press secretary steps down

Prince Harry en Meghan Markle have ‘lost another key provider’ after parting ways with the company’s global press secretary – the last of at least 12 of its top staff to leave since 2018.

Toya Holness, who holds a degree in Strategic PR from the University of Southern Californiajoined the Sussexes in October 2020 and was promoted to oversee their PR on both sides of the Atlantic in March last year.

She was previously described as ‘Meghan’s shadow’ – after being seen often wearing the same style of power suits and Hollywood sunglasses.

The former footballer was one of a small band that talks to Harry and Meghan daily, but it is understood they have divorced the couple, reports The Sunday Times.

It follows the departure of Chief of Staff and Director of Archewell Catherine St Laurent in March last year – after a little over 12 months in the role.

She would have ‘wanted out’ after finding that she ‘had to fulfill many functions for the couple’, insiders said.

Harry and Meghan have been haunted by the departure of top aides since their marriage in May 2018 – including private secretaries, communications staff, a personal protection officer and the executive director of Harry’s Sustainable Tourism Initiative Travalyst.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (pictured in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2019) have lost at least 12 top helpers since their marriage

Toya Holness, who holds a degree in Strategic PR from the University of Southern California, is divorced from the couple

Toya Holness, who holds a degree in Strategic PR from the University of Southern California, is divorced from the couple

Toya Holness, who holds a degree in Strategic PR from the University of Southern California, is divorced from the couple

Catherine St Laurent was chased upside down by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation couple to become their 'co-worker', but stopped after a little over a year in the role

Catherine St Laurent was chased upside down by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation couple to become their 'co-worker', but stopped after a little over a year in the role

Catherine St Laurent was chased upside down by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation couple to become their ‘co-worker’, but stopped after a little over a year in the role

The best helpers the Sussexes have left since the royal wedding

September 2018: Senior Communications Secretary Katrina McKeever

November 2018: Meghan’s personal assistant Melissa Toubati

January 2019: Female royal protection officer

March 2019: Assistant Private Secretary Amy Pickerell

March 2019: Senior Communications Secretaries Jason Knauf and Christian Jones

October 2019: Private Secretary Samantha Cohen

March 2020: Director of Communications Sara Latham

June 2020: Natalie Campbell of Sussex Royal Charity Foundation

March 2021: Prince Harry’s Assistant Private Secretary Heather Wong

March 2021: Chief of Staff and Director of Archewell Catherine St Laurent

May 2022: Global Press Secretary Toya Holness

Senior Communications Secretary Katrina McKeever – a connecting point for Meghan’s family during the first months of the couple’s relationship – quietly left her press office in September 2018.

Two months later, Meghan’s personal assistant Melissa Toubati would have submitted her announcement after the duchess had ‘left her in tears with her demands’, it was said.

In January 2019, a female royal protection officer also left her job as the best bodyguard for Meghan.

The officer, who was not named for safety reasons, was less than a year head of Meghan and Harry’s security when she left the role.

At the time, a spokesman for Scotland Yard said: ‘It is for personal reasons and absolutely nothing to do with the duke or duchess, who are enormously disappointed to lose her.’

In March 2019, it was announced that Meghan’s deputy private secretary Amy Pickerill would leave her role following Archie’s birth in May.

Meghan described the loss as “very sad”, with sources claiming that the split was friendly with Mrs Pickerill moving abroad.

She played a key role during the Duchess’ royal tour to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, including helping to bring Meghan to safety during a market crash.

That same month, Jason Knauf left his senior role as Secretary of Communications for both the Sussexes and the Cambridges to become the Executive Director of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Christian Jones joined Mr Knauf in making the move.

Katrina McKeever (pictured) quietly left Harry and Meghan's press office in September 2018

Katrina McKeever (pictured) quietly left Harry and Meghan's press office in September 2018

Katrina McKeever (pictured) quietly left Harry and Meghan’s press office in September 2018

Meghan’s personal assistant Melissa Toubati (left) allegedly submitted her announcement after the duchess “had left her in tears with her demands”. Two months later, a female royal protection officer (right) left her job as Meghan’s top bodyguard.

In March 2019, it was announced that Meghan’s deputy private secretary Amy Pickerill (left) would leave her role following Archie’s birth in May. Private Secretary Samantha Cohen (right) left the high-profile role next October

Jason Knauf (pictured) left his senior role as Communications Secretary for both the Sussexes and the Cambridges to become the Executive Director of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Jason Knauf (pictured) left his senior role as Communications Secretary for both the Sussexes and the Cambridges to become the Executive Director of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Jason Knauf (pictured) left his senior role as Communications Secretary for both the Sussexes and the Cambridges to become the Executive Director of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Private Secretary Samantha Cohen is pictured next to Meghan and the Queen at Buckingham Palace in June 2018

Private Secretary Samantha Cohen is pictured next to Meghan and the Queen at Buckingham Palace in June 2018

Private Secretary Samantha Cohen is pictured next to Meghan and the Queen at Buckingham Palace in June 2018

The director of communications of the Sussexes Sara Latham (pictured) was made redundant when the couple decided to leave the United Kingdom for California

The director of communications of the Sussexes Sara Latham (pictured) was made redundant when the couple decided to leave the United Kingdom for California

The director of communications of the Sussexes Sara Latham (pictured) was made redundant when the couple decided to leave the United Kingdom for California

Natalie Campbell (right) was poached by Kate (second right) and the William Foundation and was instead employed by the Sussexes as 'Director of Insights and Innovation'

Natalie Campbell (right) was poached by Kate (second right) and the William Foundation and was instead employed by the Sussexes as 'Director of Insights and Innovation'

Natalie Campbell (right) was poached by Kate (second right) and the William Foundation and was instead employed by the Sussexes as ‘Director of Insights and Innovation’

Heather Wong (pictured) left her role as executive director of Prince Harry's Travalyst in March last year

Heather Wong (pictured) left her role as executive director of Prince Harry's Travalyst in March last year

Heather Wong (pictured) left her role as executive director of Prince Harry’s Travalyst in March last year

Long-serving royal assistant and former private secretary to Queen Samantha Cohen left her role in December 2018.

Ms. Cohen resigned and volunteered at Cool Earth, an organization that aims to stop tropical deforestation.

Diversity campaign and social entrepreneur Natalie Campbell, who was commissioned to run the Sussex Royal Charity Foundation in June 2020 after just five months.

Ms. Campbell – who was announced as the big hair of Harry and Meghan to lead the foundation – left to become the general manager of water company Belu.

The director of communications of the Sussexes Sara Latham was made redundant when the couple decided to leave the United Kingdom for California, via Canada.

Ms. Latham then took on a role in advising the Queen’s Private Office on special projects.

Heather Wong, who worked for three years as assistant private secretary to the Duke of Sussex at Kensington Palace before Harry and Meghan left the royal family, left her role as executive director of Travalyst in March last year.

Mrs Holness’ departure this week comes as the publication date for Harry’s memoirs remains a mystery.

The autobiography, which is ‘pre-planned’ for publication later this year, promises to be ‘a first-hand account of my life that is accurate and completely true’.

It is widely expected to show his memories of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.

But last week, publishers Penguin Random House were unable to give a date for its release.

However, the delay is likely to be welcomed amid fears that Meghan and Harry’s return to the UK risks risking becoming the ‘focus’ of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Earlier this month, a sensational statement said the couple – like the Duke of York – would not be invited to the balcony for Trooping the Color, the spectacular start to their long weekend of celebrations.

Then, just 18 minutes later, the defiant Sussexes revealed in a tweet via their friend and journalist Omid Scobie that they will still be flying from California – with Archie, now three, and Lilibet, 11 months – before the event around the age of 70 ‘ to mark the monarch on the throne beginning on 2 June.

But there were warnings this evening that the couple’s regular presence in the UK threatens to convince the festivities.

However, Scobie also claimed that the couple never wanted to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

He said despite this, the couple is “very excited” to take part in the arrangements in the coming months, including the Thanksgiving celebrations at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘lose ANOTHER key aide’: Couple’s global press secretary steps down Source link Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘lose ANOTHER key aide’: Couple’s global press secretary steps down

Related Articles

Back to top button