Meghan Markle to lose SECOND close aide as ‘Samantha the Panther’ quits
Rumours that the Duchess of Sussex is difficult to work with have been fuelled by the announcement that her personal secretary will soon leave.
Samantha Cohen, 50, will leave her role as a key member of the Kensington Palace staff after Meghan and Harry have their first child in Spring.
Nicknamed ‘Samantha the Panther’ in royal circles, the Australian also served as a communications secretary during her 17 year career working for the Windsor family.
Ms Cohen stepped into the role reportedly at the request of Harry and Meghan after Edward Lane Fox left at the end of five years of service.
It is believed the Duchess wanted to hire her on a permanent basis after she left her position at Buckingham Palace, but Ms Cohen refused.
The planned departure of one of the Queen’s most trusted aides comes shortly after Meghan’s personal assistant Melissa Touabti also quit, just six months after the Royal wedding at Windsor Castle in May.
A source close to Meghan 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."
Ms Cohen was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen in 2016 having been the first woman to hold the press secretary job.
She rose through the ranks after applying to be a media minder at Buckingham Palace 20 years ago, while on a trip to London from her home country.
The mother-of-three is held in high regard by the royal family and has been described as ‘unstuffy’ and ‘deeply committed’ to the Queen.
It is Ms Cohen’s feisty attitude that won her the ‘Panther’ nickname.
Sources claim she has acted as a make-up advisor to Meghan and helped her understand the intricacies of the royal family.
The Sunday Times source also revealed the Duchess’ early morning routine and warned that new aides would have to be adaptable and patient.
Meghan has previously said that she wakes up at 4.30am to do yoga, which ‘heals the mind’.
News of Ms Cohen’s impending departure comes after Ms Toubati quit her job.
Before working as a close aide to Meghan the 39-year-old was employed by Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field.
The couple have links to the royal family through their close friendship with Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank.
Their daughter Theodora, six, was one of Eugenie’s bridesmaids at her wedding last month.
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An insider said: "Robbie Williams is a lively character, but she worked for him longer than she worked for Meghan."
When Ms Toubati quit, a Palace source was authorised to pay tribute to her and the role she played in helping organise Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
They said: "Melissa is a hugely talented person.
"She played a pivotal role in the success of the Royal Wedding and will be missed by everyone in the Royal Household."
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