Kate Middleton shocked Kensington Palace after sacking a loyal aide.

The Duchess of Cambridge reportedly made a shocking move when she fired a loyal aide who served her for seven years. Sophie Agnew, 32, a history of art St. Andrews graduate, was made redundant from her role as Middleton’s personal assistant. She had joined Prince William and Middleton on various royal tours abroad, including the royal couple’s trip to Australia and New Zealand in 2014.

“Sophie worked so hard for Kate,” one of her friends said. “She loved her job and made a lot of sacrifices. Sophie has only just got married and returned from the honeymoon. Everyone’s been really shocked because it was so unexpected. It seems like extreme cost-cutting.”

Middleton made the surprising move following their split from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to move out of Kensington Palace.

The Sussexes moved to their new home Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. They also decided to have a separate charity from Prince William and Middleton. Prince Harry and Markle used to be under Kensington Palace, but following the fab four’s split, the Sussexes are now under the Buckingham Palace.

Following their split, Prince William and Middleton lost one of the most distinguished aides to the Sussexes. According to an insider, Prince Harry and Markle enlisted Natalie Campbell, an award-winning “social entrepreneur” who served as the Royal Foundation’s director of insight and innovation.

“Natalie will be a real loss to William and Catherine,” a courtier told Daily Mail. “She has done brilliantly for the Royal Foundation and formed a bond with Meghan when she worked with her on the cookbook for survivors of the Grenfell fire. Her loss will be keenly felt by the Cambridges.”

In related news, Prince Harry and Markle are accused of using the duchess’ pregnancy news to steal the thunder from Prince William and Middleton. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to visit Pakistan and some royal fans believed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to keep the spotlight to themselves.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton arrives to launch a new national support line at the charity Family Action on Jan. 22, 2019 in Lewisham, England.  Getty Images/Adrian Dennis