To lose one key aide may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose all of them looks like carelessness.
I can disclose that the Duchess of Sussex’s right-hand woman is to become the latest member of her staff to quit.
Amy Pickerill, who was appointed as Meghan’s assistant private secretary just last year, is to leave her post after the couple move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor this month.
‘Amy is leaving,’ a royal source confirms. ‘It’s very sad for her colleagues, as she is a really popular member of staff.’
The move is a shock as Amy was handpicked to work for Meghan and was tipped to succeed Samantha Cohen, who is due to step down as the Duchess’s private secretary after 17 years with the Royal Family.
Amy Pickerill, who was appointed as Meghan’s assistant private secretary just last year, is to leave her post after the couple move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor this month
The move is a shock as Amy was handpicked to work for Meghan and was tipped to succeed Samantha Cohen, who is due to step down as the Duchess’s private secretary after 17 years with the Royal Family
It is understood that Amy will be leaving the Royal Household altogether and moving overseas.
She has played an important role in introducing Meghan to royal life, organising charity projects such as the cookbook the Duchess published to help families affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.
A friend of Amy insists she has a warm relationship with Meghan, adding: ‘She has agreed to stay on to help them with the birth of the baby and organise their new household, but will then move on.’
Amy’s departure will mean that all three of the main women working for Meghan will have left in a matter of months.
Last November, I disclosed that Meghan’s PA, Melissa Touabti, had quit less than six months after the American actress married Prince Harry.
Like Melissa, Amy had to deal with the traumatic build-up to the wedding last May, in which the Duchess’s father, Thomas Markle, gave a running commentary to journalists on the likelihood of his attending the ceremony.
It is understood that Amy will be leaving the Royal Household altogether and moving overseas
He decided not to come just five days before the big day, leaving Harry to ask Prince Charles to step into the breach and walk Meghan up the aisle. Amy was pictured at Heathrow airport, picking up Meghan’s mother, Doria.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson claimed in his book, Charles At Seventy, that Meghan’s wedding preparations were so stressful that Harry became ‘petulant and short-tempered’ with members of staff.
He wrote: ‘Raising his voice on occasion, Harry would insist: “What Meghan wants, she gets.” ’
Goodbye, not sorry, seems to be the hardest word for Sir Elton John.
He announced with great fanfare that his current Farewell Tour would, as its name suggests, be his last. Happily, the piano basher already appears to be undergoing a change of heart about live performances.
‘There’s a possibility, once the dust settles, of me doing a residency somewhere,’ admits the 71-year-old singer, who has two young sons with his film producer husband, David Furnish.
‘I’m fed up with travelling. I’d like to make more records, I’d like to write more musicals — but I would like to spend more time with my children and David.’
(Very) modern manners
A gentleman should never discuss his love life, but country music star Keith Urban is happy to sing about wife Nicole Kidman’s performance between the sheets.
He reveals that a number on his latest album, Graffiti U, is inspired by the Hollywood actress.
In Gemini, he sings: ‘She’s a maniac in the bed, But a brainiac in her head.’
Urban tells me: ‘The song is about Nicole — and she loves it. My co-writer, Julia Michaels, asked me to describe Nicole and that’s what came out.’
Heiress Jemima catches up with ‘favourite Bhutto’
Film producer Jemima Goldsmith celebrated her Pakistani connections at a party for Fatima Bhutto’s latest novel, The Runaways, at Blakes Hotel in South Kensington.
Jemima was married to cricket legend Imran Khan, who is now prime minister of Pakistan, while Fatima is the niece of Benazir Bhutto and granddaughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, both of whom led the country.
‘Fatima is my favourite Bhutto,’ Jemima has said. ‘She has the sense to realise that a few good articles and the right surname don’t qualify her for leadership. Unlike others in the family, she rejects the notion that political power is her birthright.’
Film producer Jemima Goldsmith celebrated her Pakistani connections at a party for Fatima Bhutto’s latest novel, The Runaways, at Blakes Hotel in South Kensington