On Thursday, as Meghan Markle undertook her first solo engagement with the queen, there was one woman in the shadows making sure the day was smooth sailing: the duchess’s assistant private secretary, Amy Pickerill.
Pickerill made her first public appearance with the royals during their visit in January to Cardiff Castle, where she was photographed helping Meghan pass the masses of excited well-wishers.
Pickerill must have done a good job, because a promotion shortly followed: HuffPost reports that she was appointed Meghan’s assistant private secretary on Feb. 19, exactly three months before the royal wedding.
Here’s what you need to know about Meghan’s right-hand woman:
Who is Amy Pickerill and how did she get her job with the royals?
Pickerill grew up in Walton-on-Thames, in Surrey, England, the Daily Mail reports. She graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2007 with a BA in history and began studying at City University of London, where she achieved a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism.
Following university, Pickerill scored the job of press officer at the HM Treasury before moving on to the Royal Bank of Scotland. She moved up the ranks until becoming the head of campaigns and regional media in 2015.
It’s not known how she made the transition from banking to palace life, but in September 2016 she landed her role as the senior communications officer to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
The Daily Mail reports that Pickerill earns a salary of £30,000 (about $39,000) in her current position.
What will she do for Meghan?
Aside from managing the duchess’s hefty schedule, handling official correspondence, and booking appointments, Pickerill will put her media relations experience to good use.
“Amy will need to advise her on what to do and what not to do,” Dickie Arbiter, the queen’s former press secretary, told HuffPost. “What she can’t do is make political statements or comments and get involved in controversies.”
Aside from this, we can expect to see her everywhere Meghan goes, making sure things run smoothly.
Pickerill will no doubt act as a key support system for the duchess, who, let’s not forget, is new to this whole royal thing.
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