On Tuesday, Royal Central exclusively revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge’s Private Secretary and right-hand woman, Rebecca Deacon, would be leaving her role in the Autumn.
Already the question is being asked over who will replace Miss Deacon, who has played a large part in Catherine’s life over the past five years.
There are many names to look out for, but first, let’s answer the question as to what a Private Secretary does.
One of the key roles of a Private Secretary is being the public face of that Royal when it comes to issuing statements or responding to letters. The Duchess of Cambridge’s new Private Secretary will act as a sort of gatekeeper, controlling access to her.
The Private Secretary also has the responsibility of coordinating the development of the official policy items that are important to the Royal they are working for, and for ensuring those items are clearly and fully implemented.
Miss Deacon is most often seen in public carrying flowers and gifts that are presented to The Duchess at official engagements.
All in all, they handle scheduling, public relations, policy development and implementation, and administrative duties for the Royal they work for.
So, who could replace her? Here are a few names that should be watched carefully:
The most likely choice for me at the moment is Sophie Agnew. Her current role is to assist Rebecca Deacon when needed. Recently, Ms Agnew has been at official engagements with The Duchess of Cambridge filling in for Rebecca when she is absent. Naturally, it is possibly she could fill these shoes on a more permanent basis in the future.
Sophie is a history of art graduate from St Andrews University. She often travels abroad with the Cambridge entourage, most recently in Canada where she acted as Tour Secretary. Here, Sophie ensured the tour, and everything related to it ran smoothly without any hiccups.
Currently Kate’s Personal Assistant, it is entirely possible the Duchess may want somebody very familiar to her and somebody that she trusts to be Private Secretary. Natasha has been PA to the young royal for around four years now and is never too far away from the Duchess at official engagements.
Natasha also serves as her stylist as well as deciding on outfits, jewellery and other accessories for appearances and tours. She can usually be seen carrying makeup cases, bags and other fashion accessories needed by the Duchess.
Laura Baker is at present Assistant Private Secretary to the Duke of Cambridge. However, I wouldn’t rule her out of the running to replace Rebecca Deacon. It would make sense for the new Private Secretary to be somebody that the Cambridge family trust and these selections do not have to be limited to only those who have worked for the Duchess.
Ms Baker also regularly accompanies the Cambridge Family on tours and engagements. She was part of the entourage in Canada last November as the third secretary. Before joining Prince William’s team, Laura worked for the Prince of Wales.
The above names are people who particularly stand out, but it is impossible to narrow it down with certainty. It is very likely that her replacement will be somebody already working within either Kensington Palace, Clarence House or Buckingham Palace.
Occasionally, Private Secretaries are advertised externally. However, this only happens to minor royals on a limited number of circumstances. The most recent example of this was in 2013 when the Earl and Countess of Wessex advertised for a Private Secretary on the royal website.
Who do you think will become the Duchess of Cambridge’s new Private Secretary? Let us know by commenting below.