Meghan Markle's Trusted Aide to Quit Job After Royal Baby's Birth
By Liz Calvario
Meghan Markle is saying goodbye to her close aide, Amy Pickerill.
The Duchess of Sussex is losing her aide in another shuffling of staff at Kensington Palace, a royal source tells ET. Her personal assistant, Melissa Touabti, left earlier this year.
Pickerill, who serves as Markle's assistant private secretary, is “leaving to pursue new opportunities," the source says. She started in the royal household as a member of the press team before transferring to the position in the duchess' private office, where she worked closely with Markle.
Pickerill is "a popular member of staff," the source says, and will depart after Markle gives birth to her first child with Prince Harry. She will be on hand to make sure any transition is seamless and her exit is said to be “amicable," ET's source adds. She is understood to be quite close to Markle and she has “been at her side as a loyal aide” through some of her most trying moments as stories swirled and the tabloids dubbing her "Duchess Difficult." The two have “become close friends and they will see each other in the future,” the source says.
Pickerill’s replacement will not be announced immediately. The source says Pickerill simply wants to live abroad and pursue new experiences.
During her time with the former Suits star, Pickerill helped Markle with her charity cookbook, Together: Out Community Cookbook, and has frequently attended events with her.
Pickerill is Markle's third Kensington Palace aide to leave her job over the past couple of months. Back in December, a source told ET that Markle "raised eyebrows" among staff for her "rather direct approach" to life in the royal spotlight, a method that doesn't necessarily "sit well" with the "more refined British."
However, reports alleging that Markle was difficult to work with were untrue, the source said, just before the duchess lost another key member of her Kensington Palace staff. Private secretary Samantha Cohen, who had worked with the royal family for 17 years, left just before Touabti.
"[Markle's] assistant, Touabti, did leave recently, but reports [that claim] there has been an exodus of other staff is wide off the mark," ET's royal source shared. "She has many loyal aides that enjoy working with her and are impressed by her commitment to humanitarian initiatives and her openness to learning from seasoned courtiers and Palace staff about royal protocol."
For the latest on Markle and her pregnancy, watch below.