Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry have spent the last few months naming new members of their staff following their split from The Royal Foundation and ahead of the creation of their new charitable foundation, Sussex Royal.
Earlier this month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced Fiona Mcilwham had joined their staff as their new private secretary. Fiona is the latest to join the couple’s team, which is comprised entirely of women – that’s a first in the Royal Family.
This is an extremely busy time for Meghan and Harry – not only did they welcome baby Archie Harrison in May, but they’re also preparing for a tour of South Africa in October. They’ll be taking Archie with them, and Harry will also make additional solo stops in Botswana, Angola and Malawi. So they’ll need a strong team around them!
So, who is working for them? Of course, Meghan is American and Harry is British, so it shouldn’t be surprising their team features PR heavy-hitters with hefty experience in politics from both countries.
Here’s a look at those making the magic happen behind the scenes..
Fiona Mcilwham, Private Secretary
Fiona was previously the British ambassador to Albania, and was appointed in 2009 when she was only 35 years old, according to the Daily Mail. She is fluent in French and Albanian, and has specialized in “European international security, governance and post-conflict issues,” according to ITV. She will replace Samantha Cohen, the Queen’s former assistant private secretary, who was responsible for Meghan’s royal training.
Fiona calls herself a “wannabe supermum” and her husband is Daniel Korski, who worked for former UK Prime Minister David Cameron. She will be with Harry, Meghan and Archie when they tour South Africa in October, according to ITV.
Sara Latham, Head of Communications
Sara’s extensive and impressive public relations resume includes stints as an adviser on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 US presidential campaign, assisting on vetting candidates to be Hillary’s running mate, according to Harper’s Bazaar. She also worked with former US President Bill Clinton, and helped manage former US President Barack Obama’s transition to the presidency in 2008. She has also worked with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to royal reporter Omid Scobie, and was briefly at major London PR firm Freuds.
Karen Blackett, Trustee, Sussex Royal
Karen will work with Natalie Campbell (see below) on setting up Harry and Meghan’s brand new charitable vehicle. She also has an extensive and impressive PR background, having been appointed by former UK Prime Minister Theresa May to a job where she was responsible for making recommendations to promote racial equality in the workplace.
“Embracing diversity and inclusion is not a choice, it’s a business necessity,” she said at the time, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
Since diversity and inclusion are important to both Harry and Meghan, royal fans can expect a huge focus on both of those issues as part of Karen’s work at Sussex Royal.
Karen was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2014 for her work in media, and the next year she was named one of the most influential people of African or African-Caribbean heritage in the UK, according to HELLO! UK.
Natalie Campbell, Director, Sussex Royal
Natalie is no stranger to working with the Royal Family. She was previously
the director of insight and innovation at The Royal Foundation, and departed along
with Harry and Meghan earlier this year. One of her first duties in her new job
was the appointment of a board and trustees, the
Daily Mail reported in July.
Natalie and Meghan worked together in 2018 on Together: Our Community Cookbook, which raised funds to run the Hubb Community Kitchen, started by a group of women helping families affected by the 2017 London Grenfell Tower fire. The two reportedly “formed a bond” during that time, according to the Daily Mail.
Heather Wong, Deputy Private Secretary
Like Sara, Heather also has extensive experience in American politics. She worked as the acting assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary of public affairs at the US Department of Homeland Security under Barack Obama.
Heather previously worked as Assistant Private Secretary to Harry, where she worked on charitable initiatives to do with the environment, mental health, sports, HIV/AIDS and youth. She also worked for environmental non-profit and political action committee NextGen America – since Harry and Meghan are passionate about climate change and protecting wildlife and the Earth, this is likely one of the reasons they hired her.
Clara previously worked for Prince William and Duchess Kate, who met her parents when they travelled to her home country of New Zealand in 2014. She was named projects manager for Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding in 2018, and handed Meghan her bouquet just before she walked down the aisle to meet Harry at the altar of St. George’s Chapel that day.