In Brief

Meghan Markle’s bodyguard quits role after six months

Departure of female protection officer is third high-profile resignation from royal inner circle

The female bodyguard in charge of protecting Meghan Markle has handed in her notice after only six months in the role.

The royal protection officer, who holds the level of inspector in the Metropolitan Police, took charge of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s security team last summer, following the retirement of Prince Harry’s long-serving bodyguard, Sergeant Bill Renshaw.

She was pictured by the Duchess’s side during the royal couple’s tour of Oceania last year, including an incident in which the 37-year-old royal was rushed away from a crowded market in Fiji due to security fears.

The Sunday Times reports that the bodyguard, who cannot be named for security reasons, has also worked on protection plans for Frogmore Cottage, the home in the grounds of Windsor Castle  where the couple plan to settle before the pregnant Duchess gives birth.

A Scotland Yard source told the Sunday Times that the Duchess had struggled to balance her desire to move around freely with the intense security that surrounds the royals when they appear in public.

“Unlike someone who has grown up in the Royal Family and has been used to close protection from an early age, having it can be quite constraining,” the source told the newspaper.

“She can’t go anywhere without her protection team and that’s a massive constraining force on an individual like her.”

However, palace insiders said that the “highly regarded” bodyguard was leaving the Metropolitan Police for reasons unrelated to her royal charges. The Sunday Times says there is “no suggestion of any personality clash” behind the resignation.

Nevertheless, “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”, says The Daily Telegraph, noting that this is the third recent resignation from the royal’s inner circle.

Melissa Touabti, the Duchess’s personal assistant, handed in her notice last November after only six months in the role. At the time, the Daily Mirror claimed that the demands of the job had left her “in tears”.

The couple’s private secretary, Samantha Cohen, has also announced that she will depart later this year, having joined their team on a temporary basis after more than a decade working for the Queen.

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