Who Is Sir David Manning? New Details About Meghan And Harry's Advisor — Including Why He Quit

A top advisor to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has quit. He's the third person to leave the couple.

Who Is Sir David Manning? New Details About Meghan And Harry's Advisor — Including Why He Quit Getty

Some people thought Meghan Markle was the breath of fresh air the British monarchy needed to bring them all the way into the 21st century. Others wonder if she’s a diva who is creating divisions in the palace and driving staff away from herself and her husband Prince Harry.

This week, yet another aide close to the couple has walked away from them. Sir David Manning, who has been an advisor to bother Harry and William before their marriages and to their wives, has announced he’ll be resigning after 10 years working for the royal family.


So who is Sir David Manning? Is this just the right time for Manning to leave? Or is Meghan Markle driving people away? Here's what we know. 

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1. Diplomat

Manning has a long career working as a diplomat for the British government. Between 1995 and 1998, he was British Ambassador to Israel and afterward became a foreign policy advisor to then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. During that time, he developed strong relationships with key figures in the Bush administration in the United States, including Condoleeza Rice who was national security advisor at the time.


In 2003, Blair appointed Manning to be the British Ambassador to the United States. He was instrumental in creating the joint plans for the US and Britain with respect to the invasion of Iraq.

2. Honored

In 2008, Manning was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George, thus making him Sir David Manning. He retired from the service later that same year and went on to work with different private sector companies. In 2010, he would form his own firm called Gatehouse Advisory Partners Limited which help organizations understand how geopolitics may affect them.  

3. Royal service

In 2009 the Queen asked him to serve as a special advisor to Princes William and Harry. The two sons of Prince Charles were gaining a higher public profile and their grandmother wanted them to have a mentor to guide them through their increasing duties.


He has mentored Harry and William on a number of topics including foreign affairs and government matters. Once William became engaged to marry Kate Middleton, he extended his responsibilities to preparing her to join the royal family. There was concern that Kate, as the future Queen of England, needed more support in transitioning to her new role than William’s mother Princess Diana had been given.

Manning played a similar role when Harry and Meghan got engaged and the American actress was joining the royal family.

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4. Diva Duchess

But there have been concerns that working for Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, comes with a downside.


Rumor that Meghan's unreasonable demands of staff have only grown as several aides have left her employment in recent months. Her bodyguard stepped down from her role after a year. Rumors were flying that the guard was concerned that Meghan wasn’t concerned enough with her own safety, trying too hard to continue with life as she lived in Hollywood. A source told Radar Online that “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.”

Meanwhile, Meghan’s personal assistant left after only 6 months with no explanation as to why. Now Manning’s departure raises more questions about what working for the Duchess is really like.

5. Royal Reaction

If Manning is leaving because of friction with the family, the palace isn’t saying.


In an official statement about Mannings departure, the palace said “Their Royal Highnesses are incredibly grateful for the guidance and support that Sir David has provided over the last 10 years. His wise counsel has been central to the success of their international tours and the early stages of their official work as members of the royal family.”

Because Manning’s role in royal service was unique, there are no plans to replace him at this time. It’s unclear what he will do next. Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan are busy preparing for the birth of their first child, due sometime this spring.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.