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Harry and Meghan’s’ chief of staff makes surprise departure after just 11 months in the job 

Harry and Meghan’s right-hand woman in the US has stepped down after less than a year.

Catherine St Laurent was head-hunted by the couple from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to become their ‘chief of staff’ and executive director of Archewell, their new non-profit organisation, last April.

The couple called her an ‘incredible asset’ when they announced her appointment, adding: ‘We are excited to have her on our team.’

But yesterday it emerged that the Canadian-born mother-of-two has unexpectedly left her post.

There was no comment from her directly, but according to the New York Post, Miss St Laurent has already stepped down, although she will continue to work with Archewell in an ‘advisory’ role.

Catherine St Laurent was head-hunted by the couple from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to become their ‘chief of staff’

She will be replaced as Archewell’s executive director by the couple’s current communications officer in the UK, James Holt. 

Reports suggest they have no immediate plans to replace him, leaving the Duke and Duchess of Sussex without any official representation in Britain and all their media relations now being handled in the US.

The couple have already appointed Toya Holness as Archewell’s ‘global press secretary’. Buckingham Palace ceased to act for them after they quit as working royals last spring.

One royal insider expressed surprise at Miss St Laurent’s departure, telling the Mail: ‘She was a huge appointment for them.

‘A big hitter with a great track record, poached to head up their new working life in the US. It is really quite astonishing she has left that role after less than a year.’

Miss St Laurent is apparently launching her own new ‘social impact firm’, supported by and working with Archewell.

The couple called her an ¿incredible asset¿ when they announced her appointment, adding: ¿We are excited to have her on our team.¿

The couple called her an ‘incredible asset’ when they announced her appointment, adding: ‘We are excited to have her on our team.’

Harry and Meghan were dogged by a spate of departures from their ranks as working royals, losing at least two PAs as well as other key staff from their private office.

Earlier this month Buckingham Palace announced it was launching a probe into the handling of claims by their former head of communications that Meghan bullied several female members of their team, forcing at least two to quit.

A spokesman for the couple denied the claims, calling it a ‘calculated smear campaign’.

At the time of her appointment as Harry and Meghan’s most senior team member, Miss St Laurent had said she was ‘thrilled to be able to play a supporting role in realising their vision’.

She added: ‘From our very first conversation, Harry and Meghan have expressed a deep commitment to improving lives and having a positive impact on society.’

St Laurent  will be replaced as Archewell¿s executive director by the couple¿s current communications officer in the UK, James Holt (pictured)

St Laurent  will be replaced as Archewell’s executive director by the couple’s current communications officer in the UK, James Holt (pictured)

The couple have also made two high-profile new appointments.

Ben Browning, who produced the Oscar-nominated film Promising Young Woman, is now head of content for Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio as part of their multi-million dollar link-ups with Netflix and Spotify.

Mr Browning said it was a ‘unique opportunity’ and he wanted to turn Archewell into a ‘global production company that will spotlight diverse voices and share uplifting stories’.

The couple have also linked up with Invisible Hand – a ‘social impact and culture change agency’.

Intriguingly, given numerous reports suggesting Meghan has political ambitions in the US, its founder Genevieve Roth worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

She will also serve as a ‘senior strategic adviser’ to the couple.

A statement said Invisible Hand would be focusing on ‘strategic change through storytelling and community building in support of gender and racial equity’.

A spokesman for the Sussexes added: ‘They join a rapidly expanding team that’s deeply dedicated to advancing systemic cultural change and supporting compassionate communities across the world.’

A judge has ordered The Mail on Sunday to publish a statement saying it infringed the Duchess of Sussex’s copyright by publishing extracts of a letter she sent her father. 

Lord Justice Warby said it did not need to be published until the outcome of an appeal process.

He also ruled against Meghan on how large the statement needed to be printed, saying it would take up a ‘disproportionate amount of the front page’ if the font size was the same as the original 2019 headline.


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