An inside source is shooting down rumours that royal aide Samantha Cohen is leaving due to drama with Meghan Markle.
“She’s not leaving because of any drama with Meghan,” the source told Us Weekly. “She agreed to stay for six months to help post-wedding and because Meghan and Harry were hoping a baby would come soon after that and knew they needed extra help. Samantha has a lot of respect for Harry and Meghan and enjoyed working for them. But her time is now up.”
The Sunday Times first came out with the story claiming the Duchess of Sussex would soon be losing personal assistant Cohen, who was recently brought in on an interim basis when her previous assistant Melissa Touabti quit in late November.
Toubati’s departure was recognized by what the Daily Mail characterized as the “unusual move” of a source paying tribute to her. “Melissa is a hugely talented person,” said the source. “She played a pivotal role in the success of the Royal Wedding and will be missed by everyone in the Royal Household.”
According to the Times, the departure of the “highly regarded” 50-year-old royal aide nicknamed “Samantha the Panther” comes amidst rumours of strife between Markle and sister-in-law Kate Middleton.
Australian-born Cohen, notes the Times, “has spent 17 years working for the royal family and was formerly one of the Queen’s most trusted aides as assistant private secretary and communications secretary. She joined the Sussex household on an interim basis earlier this year.”
Cohen will reportedly stay on until the birth of the couple’s baby in the spring.
“Sam will be a huge loss,” said a source. “Going forward, Meghan might need someone cut from a slightly different cloth to traditional courtiers, who is not a career civil servant or royal insider.”
While the British tabloids have reported rumours of a rift between the wives of Princes Harry and William, a Kensington Palace spokesperson shot down reports that Middleton was “furious” when Markle “berated” members of her staff, with the spokesperson stating that the alleged incident “never happened.”