A TOP bodyguard charging with protecting the Duchess of Sussex has quit after less than a year in the job.
In another blow to the Royal family, Meghan Markle’s chief protection officer has left the job.
The Scotland Yard inspector — who has never been named for security reasons — is the third close aide to leave in just a few months.
Police sources say the Duchess’ desire to be seen as “one of the people” has presented a challenge to her personal security team — although there is no suggestion this personality clash caused the bodyguard to quit.
She was previously pictured rushing in to protect Meghan during a security panic at a market in Fiji last October.
The security chief had replaced Sergeant Bill Renshaw, Prince Harry’s experienced head of security, who retired last year after more than 30 years in the force.
“She can’t go anywhere without her protection team”
Scotland Yard source
But she has now quit after around six months in the role, The Sunday Times has reported.
Speaking to the paper, a Scotland Yard source explained some of the difficulties the former Suits actress may be facing with her security presence.
They said Meghan, who didn’t grow up in the Royal family, wouldn’t be “used to having close protection from an early age,” and could find it “constraining”.
The source went on: “Even though she was a famous actress, she could still do what she wanted in the way of getting around freely.
“But in her current role she can’t go anywhere without her protection team and that’s a massive constraining force on an individual like her.”
Meghan’s outgoing protection officer, who is also understood to be leaving the Met Police, was described by colleagues as “brilliant” and was very well regarded in the force.
Her appointment to lead Harry and Meghan’s security team was seen as groundbreaking, in a male-dominated occupation.
A source at the time said: “To have a woman in charge of the team is pretty much unheard of.”
It isn’t known why the bodyguard is stepping down from the police, and she is believed to have been working with the Royal couple on improving security arrangements at their new home.
Meghan and Harry — who are expecting their first child in the spring — are moving from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage, on the Queen’s Windsor estate.
This is the most recent of several high-profile resignations from Meghan’s team.
In November, the couple’s private secretary Samantha Cohen, 49, announced she was leaving after 17 years with the Royal family including spells as the Queen’s assistant private secretary and press spokeswoman.
Last month, Meghan’s personal assistant Melissa Touabti, 39, also quit after just six months.
The French PA — who previously worked for Robbie Williams — had to deal with the pressure of the Royal Wedding, and the fallout from Meghan’s dad Thomas Markle not being invited.
When she quit, a Kensington Palace official paid tribute, saying: “Melissa played a pivotal role in the success of the Royal Wedding and will be missed by everyone in the Royal household.”
Spokesmen for Kensington Palace and the Met Police both declined to comment.