Prince William and Kate's charity chief who accused Meghan Markle of bullying QUITS after named in Duchess' court docsMay 12, 2021
KATE Middleton and Prince William's charity chief has stepped down after accusing Meghan Markle of bullying.
Jason Knauf has left his role as CEO of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Foundation after seven years of service.
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Kensington Palace confirmed a "planned international relocation" was behind his decision to stand down.
Knauf worked for Meghan and Prince Harry as a communications assistant before taking on his role with William and Kate.
He was the royal aide who reportedly submitted a bullying complaint in October 2018 to protect palace aides who were allegedly coming under pressure from the Duchess.
After hearing about the complaint, Harry then reportedly held a meeting where he pleaded with Knauf not to pursue it.
Lawyers for the royal couple deny any meeting took place and insist the Duke, 36, would not have interfered with a staff matter.
The claims, which Meghan denies, are now being investigated by a third–party law firm drafted in by Buckingham Palace.
A month after reporting the allegation of bullying, Knauf handed in his notice.
He took up a job as an adviser to Prince William in March 2019 when Harry and Meghan left Kensington Palace.
Knauf was also named in Meghan's court papers in her privacy battle against the Mail on Sunday.
He was forced to deny he had helped Meghan draft a "deeply personal" handwritten letter to her estranged dad Thomas Markle.
But aide was confirmed in legal papers to have told Meghan to reference her estranged dad's ill-health in the letter.
Thomas Markle suffered a heart attack before Harry and Meghan's wedding in May 2018, which he did not attend.
The court was told the aide "emphatically" denied co-writing the letter, with his lawyers saying "it was the duchess's letter alone".
It also emerged he had said she was protected "extensively" by the Palace despite her bombshell Oprah Winfrey claims.
The former actress repeatedly slammed Palace aides in the explosive tell-all chat – claiming they "failed to protect her".
She also sensationally said they were "not willing to tell the truth to protect herself and Prince Harry".
But the couple's former press secretary Jason Knauf appeared to reject her claims in official court documents.
In a letter to the High Court, lawyers representing the Crown claim he led "extensive efforts" to protect Meghan's privacy and reputation.
The aide also made "significant efforts over many months" to protect Thomas Markle, it was said.
The documents say this was carried out "in addition to the steps that were regularly taken to object to coverage of the Duchess herself, where this was perceived to be unfair or untrue".
Knauf's replacement for Kate and William's foundation will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Palace said he had "overseen the development and launch" of The Earthshot Prize environment drive and "helped steer the Foundation’s response to COVID-19".
He also set up a £1.8million grant to support frontline workers during the pandemic.
Kate and William said: "Jason has been an integral part of our team since 2015. We are immensely grateful for his hard work and commitment, both at The Royal Foundation and previously as our Communications Secretary.
"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.
"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.”
Knauf said his time working with Kate and William was the "privilege" of his career".
He added: "I will always be grateful for the opportunity I have had to support their leadership in the UK 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.”
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