On Thursday, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, had her first solo appearance with the Queen, at a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge in the U.K.
And sitting right behind Markle and the Queen sharing a laugh was royal adviser Samantha Cohen, one of the key people responsible for Markle’s newly appointed royal duties.
Cohen, who is part of the Queen’s personal team, has now been tasked to help Markle adjust to her new life as a royal, Harper’s Bazaar reports.
Who is Samantha Cohen?
Cohen has been with the royal family for 17 years, The Times U.K. reports, and was previously the Queen’s assistant private secretary.
Even before Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding on May 19, People magazine reports the 49-year-old Australian adviser was already teaching Markle the ropes of protocol when it came to attending events.
“She will make sure Meghan is as happy as she can be without ruffling feathers,” a source told the magazine. “She will represent her voice both internally and externally and fight her battles.”
The mother-of-three also previously worked in public relations, News.com.au reports, adding she has strong relationships with the press in the U.K.
The site adds Cohen will be responsible to spend six months with the Duchess, teaching her the ins and outs of the Royal family.
Who is Amy Pickerill?
Another familiar face in the family and now the press is Markle’s royal assistant Amy Pickerill.
“Expect to see her everywhere Meghan goes, making sure things run like clockwork,” royal commentators told Huffpost U.K., adding that Pickerill will be Markle’s “right-hand woman.”
Pickerill, who has been an assistant private secretary in Prince Harry’s office, took Markle under her wing weeks before the royal wedding. She had been working at Kensington Palace for 18 months, the site reports.
She was first pictured with the Duchess of Sussex in February, walking side-by-side with Markle during her first public engagement with now-husband Prince Harry.
“Busy royals can be in France for breakfast and Scotland for dinner,” former royal aide Alex Bomberg, who worked at the Palace in the 1990s, told the site. “They do three or four engagements every day, so managing that will be quite hectic.”
Besides managing the Duchess’ schedule, engagements and appointments, she will also assist the former Suits star on how to handle making public comments following controversies or political statements, for example.
A new royal
And with the news of the couple heading to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand for their first official tour, these advisers will have work on their hands ensuring everything goes smoothly.
And Markle, a U.S.-born former actress who is now in the public eye more than ever, wasn’t afraid in the past to push the envelope when it comes to abiding by the rules. Before she got married to Prince Harry, experts said she had broken several “royal girlfriend rules,” attending a tennis match with the Prince or holding his hand in public.
“Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been so open about the fact that they are dating, and have spoken about their relationship in this way,” noted Toronto-based author Carolyn Harris of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting.
“[They] are conducting this relationship on their own terms.”
— With files from Monique Scotti