KATE, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William have bid farewell to one of their closest staff members at the Royal Foundation, as the organisation continues its reorganisation following the split with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Kate and William had their last working meeting with Lorraine Heggessey on Wednesday to officially relinquish her from the role of CEO at the Royal Foundation. Ms Heggessey has been working for the couple since 2016. Her departure was first announced this summer by Kensington Palace.
The palace said in a statement: “Lorraine has played an integral role in our charitable initiatives over the last two-and-a-half years.
“We are very grateful for her hard work and support, and wish her the very best for the future.”
The statement also announced Ms Heggessey’s post would be taken over by Jason Knauf, Kate’s senior advisor.
It read: “We are pleased that Jason has been appointed as CEO and very much look forward to working with him in his new role.”
Mr Knauf is very well accustomed to the royals, and has been working for them for several years.
He first joined Kensington Palace as communications secretary.
This change at the top of the Royal Foundation, Kate and William’s main charitable vehicle, comes as the royals are completing the separation of the Cambridges’ household and charitable work from the ones of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
In June, Meghan and Harry revealed their decision to set up their own charitable foundation, further splitting in the division of public duties from Kate and William after they separated households in March.
The Sussexes’ offices are now no longer at Kensington Palace but at Buckingham Palace.
On July 1, Meghan and Harry officially founded the Sussex Royal foundation, registering it on the Companies House website.
The foundation will be launched in 2020, but the royals are already transitioning from their old platform, now officially called The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In mid-October, Team Sussex confirmed they had hired experienced journalist Kirsty Young as director.
The former BBC broadcaster, who has hosted Desert Island Discs and Crimewatch, has already a great deal of experience in charitable work, being the president of Unicef UK.
A spokesman for the Sussex Royal foundation told Express.co.uk: “I can confirm that Kirsty Young will be joining Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor, Steven Cooper and Karen Blackett OBE as a trustee of Sussex Royal.
“She has therefore been added to the filing of the CLG.
“As you know, Sussex Royal is formally due to launch in 2020, and we are looking forward to sharing more details in the coming months.”
The Royal Foundation was set up in September 2009 by Prince William and Prince Harry to give the young royals a platform where to take forward their charitable ambitions.
Kate joined the Foundation after marrying Prince William in April 2011.
Similarly, Meghan became one of its member in 2018, taking part to the organisation’s first forum in February 2018, just months before her Royal Wedding with Prince Harry.
Kensington Palace said the behind the split was to “best complement the work and responsibilities of Their Royal Highnesses as they prepare for their future roles, and to better align their charitable activity with their new households.”