There is another Catherine in Kensington Palace! The Duchess of Cambridge has hired a new private secretary, Catherine Quinn, who will take over from Rebecca Priestley, née Deacon, in October. The palace made the announcement on Monday (July 31), revealing details about the newest member of Kate's entourage. Catherine is currently the chief operating officer and associate dean for administration at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School. She has an MBA from the business school, as well as degrees from US and UK universities.
Catherine has previously held leadership positions at Middle Temple, where she was chief executive, and the Welcome Trust, where she was head of grants management. She is also a member of the Boards of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Met Office, and the Royal British Legion.
In her new royal role, Catherine will be expected to organise official programmes and engagements and ensure the Duchess is briefed on who she will meet. At public events such as walkabouts, she will always be a few metres from Kate, just as Rebecca has been, and will be on hand to hold Kate's gifts, flowers and cards she receives from members of the public.
Kate's current private secretary Rebecca is stepping down this summer after ten years of service to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. She started working with Kate specifically in 2012. Kensington Palace confirmed the news in March, releasing a statement that read: "She plans to leave the household in the summer. Their Royal Highnesses are incredibly grateful for all the hard work and support Rebecca has provided over the past ten years and wish her well in the next phase of her career."
A couple of weeks after the announcement, Rebecca tied the knot with her fiancé Adam Priestley. She is currently accompanying Prince William and Kate on their two-day visit to Belgium, where the royal couple have been observing the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele. Earlier this month, Rebecca also went on tour to Poland and Germany, her last in her role with the royal household.