It Sounds Like the Fab Four Just Lost Another Key Staff Member

The royal Fab Four have been chugging along drama-free for a few months—going to lots of events, and probably some of Meghan's last engagements before she gives birth. So this must come as sad news: As reported in The Mirror, the four have lost their special advisor, Sir David Manning, who has been working with the royals for 10 years.

Event, Dress, Suit, Ceremony,
(Image credit: Stephen Pond )

This sounds like SUCH a bummer. The royal Fab Four (Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Princes William and Harry) have been chugging along drama-free for a few months—going to lots of events, and probably some of Meghan's last engagements before she gives birth. So this must come as sad news: As reported in The Mirror, the four have lost their special advisor, Sir David Manning, who has been working with the royals for 10 years.

As first spotted by the Twitter account Gert's Royals per the Royal Circular (which gives news about the royal family), Manning had been Foreign Affairs Adviser to William and Harry ever since they formed their own office in 2009. He went on to mentor both Kate and Meghan as they transitioned to their royal roles. Kensington Palace reportedly said that the four were "incredibly grateful" and paid tribute to "his wise counsel" upon hearing the news.

The formal reason given, per The Mirror: "It is understood that Sir David is stepping back now that the couples are well-established in their international work." He'll still act as an informal advisor as needed, apparently.

For context, there has been some turnover for the royals in the past year or so. First, it was Meghan's personal assistant "Melissa," who quit unexpectedly after a few months, then it was their interim private secretary Samantha Cohen, and then it was the Duke and Duchess's chief protection officer.

To be clear, though, this latest announcement doesn't relate to the weird, unfounded "Duchess Difficult" rumors surrounding Princess Meghan (that's what the palace staff may have allegedly nicknamed her, but there was no confirmation of that). Also, Meghan reportedly threw the staff an ice cream party, so I'm pretty sure everything is fine there. Thinking realistically here for a second, Manning is 69, so this could just be someone who just wants to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

But, with all that said, that's a lot of change for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a short time—and, let's not forget, Meghan and Harry are moving into their new home of Frogmore Cottage as well as having a baby soon, so it's already a time of transition.

This is Sir David Manning:

Clothing, Dress shirt, Suit, Formal wear, Shirt, Collar, Tie, Outerwear, Sleeve, Tuxedo,

(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - PA Images)

And he was both a former British advisor to the U.S. and former prime minister Tony Blair's foreign policy advisor. He apparently joined the Fab Four on many of their royal tours and was an indispensable part of their diplomatic work. TBH, it sounds like he'll be very much missed.

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Katherine J Igoe
Katherine J Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributing editor at Marie Claire online who covers celebrity, fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle—from “The Bachelor” to Everlane to Meghan Markle. She also edits the Couples + Money series, so she’s always looking for volunteers at couples.money@hearst.com. Igoe: “I go to the store,” not “Her huge ego".