The Duke and Duchess of Sussex bid farewell to one of their top staff members in October, but her new role is something they would highly approve of. Prince Harry and Meghan’s former private secretary, Samantha Cohen, is now the co-chair at Cool Earth, a non-profit organisation working with indigenous communities to halt deforestation and climate change.
Climate change and the environment are issues which the Sussexes feel very passionately about within their work and during their royal tour of Africa in September, Harry gave an impassioned speech, in which he said: “We are losing the race against climate change. Everyone knows it. There’s no excuse for not knowing that.”
Meghan also featured activist Greta Thunberg as one of her ‘forces for change’ on the front cover of her guest-edited September issue of British Vogue. Harry recently praised the teenager’s work at the OnSide Awards, saying that Greta had been “one voice, with just one placard, sitting on her own outside the Swedish parliament” when she began her campaign and she was dismissed by many adults.
Fiona Mcilwham has replaced Samantha as the Sussexes’ new private secretary. Fiona, 45, was formerly the British Ambassador to Albania and reportedly won over palace officials and the couple themselves, who had hoped to hire a joint private secretary from within the royal household roster. She joined Harry for the first time in public at a reception for the fifth anniversary of the Invictus Games in September.
Before her time with the Sussexes, Samantha served as the Queen’s private secretary. Samantha transferred to work for Harry and Meghan as their interim private secretary whilst the couple were looking for a more permanent solution. Originally from Australia, she joined the Buckingham Palace communications office in 2001 and worked in civil service and public relations before joining the royals.