G'day Meghan! Coast woman to guide newest royal
MEGHAN Markle will turn to the Queen's special adviser, a former Sunshine Coast Daily journalist, to help guide her in her first months as a member of the royal family.
Samantha Cohen worked as the Queen's assistant private secretary for almost 20 years, after answering a newspaper advertisement for a media minder while on a trip to London.
She had previously worked as a journalist on the Sunshine Coast.
But Ms Cohen was set to quit her high-powered job in Buckingham Palace last year, after an extraordinary power struggle between courtiers and Prince Charles that echoed the fictional TV series The Crown.
Ms Cohen was convinced to stay on as interim private secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Kensington Palace. She replaced Edward Lane Fox, Prince Harry's departing private secretary.
The Times reports that the Duchess of Sussex will spend six months discovering how to be an effective member of the royal family. She wants to hit the ground running, touring the country and meeting charities.
"It will be six months of listening," a source told The Times.
"She is seeking out advice from a range of people. She is going to proceed with humility. It is not going to be quiet, though. It is going to be a very busy office.
"She has worked every day of her life. She is used to a demanding schedule."
Meghan and Harry are said to get on well with Ms Cohen, who has been schooling the former Suits actress on all things royal since her engagement to Prince Harry.
Ms Cohen was said to have quit in solidarity with the Queen's most senior courtier Sir Christopher Geidt, who suddenly announced last July that he was leaving after 15 years of royal service.
Sir Christopher reportedly denied he was forced out but is said to feel "bruised" by what has happened and believes the Queen failed to support him.
Prince Charles and Prince Andrew reportedly made a number of complaints to the Queen about Sir Christopher.
The Times reports that Prince Andrew - nicknamed Air Miles Andy by the British media for travelling by helicopter on royal visits instead of train or car - resented the control that Sir Christoper had over his expenses.
He had reportedly held a grudge against Sir Christopher since he was forced to stand down from his job as a trade ambassador over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2011.