The move will see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex break away from the Cambridges to create an entirely new office of communications staff and courtiers at Buckingham Palace, with former Hillary Clinton campaign advisor Sara Latham taking on the role as press secretary.
Staff who previously worked for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have chosen to remain at Kensington Palace, focusing their efforts wholly on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as William continues to prepare for his eventual role as king.
Among those staying at the previously joint court are former head of communications Jason Knauf, who has been promoted as senior advisor to guide the Cambridges on their charitable initiatives, and Christian Jones, who joined the team in December 2018 as Knauf’s deputy and will now lead the entire communications operation.
A statement released by Buckingham Palace revealed that the Queen, supported by Prince Charles, agreed to the creation of a new household for Harry and Meghan, allowing the couple to break away and continue with their philanthropic endeavors. “This long-planned move will ensure that permanent support arrangements for the Duke and Duchess’s work are in place as they start their family and move to their official residence at Frogmore Cottage,” says a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.
While several different scenarios were considered for the new arrangements, it was this most recent plan that made the most sense for the two couple’s futures. “There had been talk about Harry and Meghan’s team moving to Windsor and having an office there but it wasn’t doable,” a source tells BAZAAR.com.
But while a move has been in the works since last fall, today’s news will still see the two brothers and their wives continue working side-by-side at Kensington Palace until Harry and Meghan’s new office is complete. “This isn’t immediate,” a senior aide tells BAZAAR of the couple’s fresh start, which includes hiring new private secretaries for both. “It will be a step-by-step process.”
The most important step is for Sara Latham to officially step into her role, which is expected to happen after the birth of Harry and Meghan’s first child in mid-April. Sources tell BAZAAR.com that the pair are “very much looking forward” to starting work with the communications expert, whom they first met earlier this year. The couple took an immediate liking to her firm-but-fair approach to the job. Latham will report to the Queen’s new communications secretary at Buckingham Palace, Donal McCabe.
As well as working for Hilary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Latham has advised a number of elected officials in both the U.K. and U.S., working as a transition official for Barack Obama in 2008 and also serving as a political appointee for both President Bill Clinton and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair in the 90s. She most recently worked as a partner at leading British PR company Freuds, focusing on thought leadership and purpose-led initiatives.
Former DC colleagues of the communications expert—who holds dual citizenship in the U.K. and U.S.—describe Latham as highly intelligent, honest, quick-thinking, and innovative. “Sara was very loved on the 2016 campaign and is an overall rockstar,” one former U.S. colleague tells BAZAAR.com. “You all just got a great one over there in London.”
With the separate households now official, untrue rumors of a feud between the two couples will no doubt resurface, but Kensington Palace stresses that this move has long been on the cards for Harry. “It has always been the plan for the Duke of Sussex to establish his own household once he got married,” says a Palace source. “This move allows the couple to focus even more on the causes closest to them while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continue on their own path.”
And the work of the “Fab Four” will still continue in at least one capacity for now. Sources confirm to BAZAAR that both the Cambridges and Sussexes will remain patrons for the Royal Foundation, which William and Harry set up in 2009 to as an umbrella organization to carry their charitable endeavors.