Who Is Fiona Mcilwham, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's New Chief of Staff?

Fiona Mcilwham is a “diplomat and wannabe supermum,” according to her public Twitter account.

The new Sussex chief of staff was just hired by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to manage the couple’s PR and private matters, and joins an all-female royal communications team (a first in royal history!) that includes Heather Wong, former Obama cabinet deputy assistant secretary, and Sara Latham, current head of communications. 

Mcilwham’s formal title will be private secretary, and she boasts the gold standard of resumes: She became one of the youngest British ambassadors in U.K. history when she was appointed as diplomat to Albania in 2009 at age 35. She’s served in the U.K. Foreign Office for 21 years, according to The Mail on Sunday.

Mcilwham’s appointment makes her the most senior member of the Sussex household staff, according to The Mail. Yep, she’s basically queen of the house (of the house of the queen ... stay with us, people). 

The “supermum” takes over from the queen’s own deputy private secretary, Samantha Cohen, who retired in 2017 but was asked by Her Majesty to stay on with Harry and Meghan to help smooth their transition to royal couple life after they announced their engagement.

It’s said Mcilwham, besides being Cambridge-educated, is experienced with foreign relations in the Middle East and the U.S. Her work with the U.K. Foreign Office has spanned the globe.

Don’t unpack those bags just yet, Fiona! First stop: Africa, for Meghan, Harry and baby Archie’s first royal tour as a family of three.


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