Kate hires formidable right-hand woman

The Duchess of Cambridge appears ready to take her royal role to the next level.

A new right-hand woman for the Duchess of Cambridge has been named by Kensington Palace following the announcement in March that Kate’s private secretary Rebecca Priestley would be leaving.

The ultra-experienced Catherine Quinn will take on the role of Kate’s new assistant and will help plan the Duchess’ diary as well as attend official engagements with her. 

Quinn will be based at Kensington Palace when she starts the role in October and will leave her current position as chief operating officer and associate dean for administration at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. 

At 58, Quinn has significantly more on-the-job and life experience than Priestley did when she took on the previously non-existent role in 2012. 

Before that, Kate shared staff with William and Harry who worked out Clarence House. 

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Quinn has an impressive career which includes a role as head of grants management at the Wellcome Trust and chief executive of legal institution Middle Temple – she also has an MBA from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

Additionally, she is member of the Boards of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Met Office, and the Royal British Legion.

Priestley’s departure was announced in March, the same month she was married at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace which is a venue that only people with a direct link to the royal family can use. 

At the time, Kate and William said they were “incredibly grateful” for all of Priestley’s hard work and support during her decade of service to the royals and charities.

Quinn’s new appointment comes soon after the announcement that the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt would leave his post after 10 years. 

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He will be replaced by his deputy Edward Young in October at the same time Quinn takes up her new post. 

How do you think Kate’s new personal secretary will go? 


Catherine will be based at Kensington Palace when she starts her new role in October planning Kate’s diary and accompanying her to official engagements.