EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Palace shock as Meghan Markle’s closest aid quits her job months after wedding – The HabariTimes Online
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EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Palace shock as Meghan Markle’s closest aid quits her job months after wedding

Australia

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Palace shock as Meghan Markle’s closest aid quits her job months after wedding

Working for the Duchess of Sussex must be one of the most glamorous jobs, so how surprising to discover that she’s apparently struggling to hold on to key staff members.

I can disclose that Meghan’s personal assistant has quit suddenly, just six months after the American actress married into the Royal Family.

‘It’s a real shock,’ a source tells me.

‘Why would she want to leave such a prestigious job so soon?’

Meghan’s personal assistant has quit suddenly, just six months after the American actress married into the Royal Family

Meghan’s personal assistant has quit suddenly, just six months after the American actress married into the Royal Family

Meghan’s personal assistant has quit suddenly, just six months after the American actress married into the Royal Family

A Kensington Palace spokesman declines to comment on the departure of the PA, whose name is given only as Melissa. However, in a highly unusual move, a Palace source has been authorised to pay tribute to her.

‘Melissa is a hugely talented person,’ the source says. ‘She played a pivotal role in the success of the Royal Wedding and will be missed by everyone in the Royal Household.’

Melissa had to deal with the traumatic build-up to Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding in May, in which the Duchess’s father, Thomas Markle, gave a running commentary to journalists on the likelihood of his attending the ceremony. 

He decided not to come just five days before the wedding, leaving Harry to ask Prince Charles to step in to the breach and walk Meghan up the aisle.

Other members of Meghan’s family complained publicly that they had not been invited.

Royal biographer Robert Jobson claims in his new book, Charles At Seventy, which was serialised in this newspaper, that Meghan’s wedding preparations were so stressful that Harry became ‘petulant and short-tempered’ with members of staff.

A Kensington Palace spokesman declines to comment on the departure of the PA, whose name is given only as Melissa. However, in a highly unusual move, a Palace source has been authorised to pay tribute to her

A Kensington Palace spokesman declines to comment on the departure of the PA, whose name is given only as Melissa. However, in a highly unusual move, a Palace source has been authorised to pay tribute to her

A Kensington Palace spokesman declines to comment on the departure of the PA, whose name is given only as Melissa. However, in a highly unusual move, a Palace source has been authorised to pay tribute to her

He writes: ‘Raising his voice on occasion, Harry would insist: “What Meghan wants, she gets.” ’

Meghan’s former agent, Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, described her before the wedding as unique in her determination to succeed. 

She said Meghan was ruthless with her time, her attention and her priorities. She was ‘picky’, not only when it came to her clothes but also her colleagues, instantly dismissing those who didn’t share her ‘vision’.

‘Meghan,’ said her former agent, ‘likes to move on’.

Clearly her PA Melissa does, too.

Zoe insists latest tax set-up is Strictly above board   

Are the BBC’s promises about curtailing tax avoidance all they seem?

For I hear that Radio 2’s biggest female star, Zoe Ball, set up a controversial limited company just two days before it was revealed that she was to become the station’s breakfast presenter.

Corporation high-ups had vowed to cut down paying staff through such set-ups as it means that stars and the BBC pay less tax.

Radio 2’s biggest female star, Zoe Ball, set up a controversial limited company just two days before it was revealed that she was to become the station’s breakfast presenter. Being paid through a company means profits are currently taxed at 19 per cent, considerably lower than a top-rate tax of 45 per cent

Radio 2’s biggest female star, Zoe Ball, set up a controversial limited company just two days before it was revealed that she was to become the station’s breakfast presenter. Being paid through a company means profits are currently taxed at 19 per cent, considerably lower than a top-rate tax of 45 per cent

Radio 2’s biggest female star, Zoe Ball, set up a controversial limited company just two days before it was revealed that she was to become the station’s breakfast presenter. Being paid through a company means profits are currently taxed at 19 per cent, considerably lower than a top-rate tax of 45 per cent

Z Ball Ltd was incorporated on October 1 and she was revealed as the replacement for Chris Evans on the flagship BBC show on October 3.

Ball insists her Radio 2 salary will be paid by PAYE, but has refused to say if the BBC will channel other fees to her through this company. She also presents the BBC’s weekly Strictly Come Dancing spin-off It Takes Two.

Being paid through a company means profits are currently taxed at 19 per cent, considerably lower than a top-rate tax of 45 per cent. It also allows the BBC to avoid paying National Insurance.

Landmark Hyde Park stables forced to close   

Horses in Hyde Park are as much of a London landmark as red double-decker buses and black cabs, but they will now be a much rarer sight.

Hyde Park Stables, used by royals including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, has shut down and the steeds sold.

‘It’s very sad, but I can confirm we have closed the doors after 30 years,’ says socialite Basia Briggs, right, who owned the stables with her husband, Dick.

Hyde Park Stables, used by royals including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, has shut down and the steeds sold

Hyde Park Stables, used by royals including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, has shut down and the steeds sold

Hyde Park Stables, used by royals including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, has shut down and the steeds sold

Famous figures including Donald Trump and Madonna have been for a ride in the park, where there are now ‘cycle super-highways’.

Basia tells me: ‘We just couldn’t go on. Our insurers refused to continue insuring us. With all the cyclists now speeding around the park, it has become increasingly hazardous for horses. 

And people are more and more scared of falling off. It’s pathetic; that’s half the fun of riding — you can boast about falling off afterwards. These days, customers are likely to sue you, so it makes insurers too nervous.’

The stables will be sold as property for £1.75 million. ‘Hyde Park just won’t be the same,’ Basia laments.

‘One hundred years ago, there were more than 1,000 riders in Rotten Row each day. 

Rather ungallantly, historian Dan Snow, who is married to the Duke of Westminster’s sister Lady Edwina Grosvenor, has been exhuming his own past conquests. 

‘I fell in love with a girl while travelling in Africa,’ the 39-year-old boasts to a magazine. ‘I had a steamy affair with this older woman.’ Phew!

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