While visiting Suva, Fiji during her 16-day royal tour with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was rushed out of a busy marketplace due to a "security risk" only six minutes after her originally 20-minute scheduled meet-and-greet. Nobody knew exactly why the Duchess had to be escorted out of the indoor market, but that wasn't the only aspect fans were focused on—they also noticed Meghan's new bodyguard, who just so happens to be a woman.
Kensington Palace has refused to release the bodyguard's name for security purposes, but it's a big deal for the Palace to hire a woman to protect the Duchess (and we should continue to normalize it, FYI).
Here, everything we know about Meghan's new protection officer.
She's been working with Harry and Meghan for several months.
According to the Daily Mail, this woman has worked for the Duke and Duchess for several months now, and will be accompanying them throughout their entire 16-day royal tour. She reportedly oversees the entire police operation of the couple.
She replaced Sergeant Bill Renshaw.
Renshaw has frequently been spotted with Prince Harry over the years, and this woman reportedly replaced him after his retirement.
She isn't the only female bodyguard in the royal family.
Kate Middleton also has a female bodyguard: Sergeant Emma Probert. It's unclear if Probert is still working for the Duchess, but she began her job shortly after Kate and William got engaged in 2010. While the Palace was searching for Meghan's protection officer, it was originally reported that her new bodyguard would be trained by Probert.
According to the International Business Times, "It's expected that a new female bodyguard would learn the necessary ropes with Emma first. It would be a trial period to make sure she is the right woman for the job. And if so, she would then be transferred to Meghan and Harry's team."
She's not to be confused with Meghan's private secretary, Amy Pickerill.
A protection officer and a secretary have two completely different roles. While both accompany Meghan at her engagements, Pickerill is responsible for everything from handling Meghan's busy schedule and correspondences to helping her while she's greeting the crowds. Pickerill has been around a few months before Harry and Meghan's wedding, and has been helping the Duchess adjust to royal life.