The royal family lost another long-time worker on Thursday as Sir David Manning, senior advisor to the Cambridges and Sussexes, stepped down after 10 years of service. The royal aide’s resignation comes as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prepare to divide from Prince William and Kate Middleton with plans to move into Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Estate.
Manning, 69, acted as a mentor of sorts to the royals, according to Radar Online. He joined Kensington Palace in 2009 and worked closely with Harry and William on government matters and foreign affairs. In addition, he went on to prepare Markle and Middleton for their roles as Duchesses when they married into the royal family.
Manning has also joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on several overseas tours over the years.
“Their Royal Highnesses are incredibly grateful for the guidance and support that Sir David has provided over the last 10 years,” a spokesperson for the Cambridges and Sussexes told the publication. “His wise counsel has been central to the success of their international tours and the early stages of their official work as members of the royal family.”
The royal couples are reportedly now well-trained in their work. For the first time in several years, Harry and William have plans to divide the royal household and work on separate projects in light of the Sussexes expecting their first child. As such, Manning decided it is time to step back.
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???? A fantastic welcome in Belfast for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from the children of Fane Street Primary School, St Brides Primary School, Victoria College and Fullerton House at the start of their visit to Northern Ireland! #RoyalVisitNI #NorthernIreland #Belfast ???? PA / Kensington Palace
While Manning will no longer be in an official role, he is likely to remain an informal mentor to the couples, whom he has grown very close with, The Sun reported.
Sources have said that Manning’s unique role will likely not be replaced.
Manning’s resignation follows three other royal staffers in the past 12 months, including Markle’s own security guard and personal assistant. Kensington Palace did not provide official explanations for their departures, but royal insiders have reportedly claimed that staff members are rapidly quitting because of the Duchess’ high demands. She has often been referred to as “Duchess Difficult.”
However, many royal experts have shut down rumors of any bad blood between Markle and her staff.
For example, the Duke and Duchess’ personal assistant, Samantha Cohen, will be leaving after the birth of the couple’s child in late April simply because her position was only temporary from the beginning, according to Express.
“She’s not leaving because of any drama with Meghan,” a source explained. “She agreed to stay for six months…and knew they needed extra help. Samantha has a lot of respect for Harry and Meghan and enjoyed working for them. But her time is now up.”