Prince William and Duchess Kate have announced that Meghan Markle’s bullying accuser is stepping down from his role at their charity. The news of his departure comes just two months after reports of his claims that the Duchess of Sussex bullied her staff before her royal exit in 2020. But why, exactly, is he leaving his role now?
Well, it appears the decision has little to do with Meghan’s bullying controversy. Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement that the royal staffer, Jason Knauf, is departing his role as CEO of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Foundation as part of a “planned international relocation” by the end of 2021.
Many royal followers first learned of Knauf in March 2021, after he and a group of former staffers alleged that Meghan, 39, was a bully toward her royal aides before stepping down from her role as a senior working member of the royal family alongside her husband, Prince Harry, in 2020. According to a report published by The Times, Meghan allegedly drove some royal staffers to tears and drove others out of the household. The Duchess of Sussex has since hit back at the claims, with a representative stating, “Let’s just call this what it is—a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation.”
For his part, Knauf is seemingly thrilled to end out his tenure at Buckingham Palace on a high note. “Working with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been the privilege of my career,” Knauf said in a statement on Wednesday, May 12, as per Us Weekly. “I will always be grateful for the opportunity I have had to support their leadership in the U.K. and internationally. The months ahead will be the busiest time in the Foundation’s history with the first awards for The Earthshot Prize and more progress on our early childhood work. We have a lot to do with our amazing team and all of our partners.”
William, 38, and Kate, 39, also shared a message of thanks to Knauf for his work over the years. “We are immensely grateful for his hard work and commitment, both at The Royal Foundation and previously as our Communications Secretary,” the royal couple said in a press release on Wednesday.
“Since taking over as Chief Executive, Jason has driven positive change, making our vision for our charitable work and the causes that matter most to us a reality,” their statement continued. “We are sad to see him go but wish him all the very best in his future career. We look forward to launching the recruitment search shortly and welcoming a new Chief Executive later on this year.”