Why Meghan & Harry's Private Secretary, Samantha Cohen, Resigned

Kayleigh Roberts
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's private secretary, Samantha Cohen, has stepped down from her role with the couple.

  • Cohen worked for the queen for several years and was already planning to leave her position when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex recruited her to serve as their interim private secretary.

  • The longtime royal staffer extended her stay with the couple several times as they struggled to find the right candidate, but their search finally ended in August, when the palace announced they were hiring Fiona Mcilwham to take over for Cohen following the royal couple's tour of Africa.

Update (12/1/2019):

According to the Daily Mail, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's former private secretary, Samatha Cohen, "has taken a job with Cool Earth, an organization that aims to halt tropical deforestation."

The publication also noted that Cohen's new employer has close ties to the royals: "One of its partners is the Royal Commonwealth Society, so Sam and her former employers could be rubbing shoulders again in the not-too-distant future."

Original (10/14/2019):

Samantha Cohen, who joined Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as an interim private secretary when they got married in May 2018, is officially stepping down from her post.

The palace announced the news in a statement in the Court Circular on Friday, October 11, writing, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex this afternoon received Ms. Samantha Cohen upon relinquishing her appointment as Private Secretary to Their Royal Highnesses."

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images


Cohen has worked with the royal family for almost two decades; she first joined the firm in 2001, taking a role at the Buckingham Palace press office, according to The Times. Before joining Harry and Meghan's staff last year, she was the queen's deputy press secretary.

Cohen was already planning to step down from her job with the royal family when the Sussexes recruited her to work with them on a temporary basis. Her exit had been in the works for several months. In fact, she extended her stint with the Sussexes several times as the royal couple struggled to find the right person to fill the role.

The duke and duchess did find someone to fill Cohen's shoes: In August, the palace announced that Harry and Meghan had hired Fiona Mcilwham as their new private secretary and that Cohen would leave after the couple's tour of Africa.

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