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The Duke of Cambridge is set to lose a second key aide in a year.
Christian Jones, who replaced Simon Case as William’s private secretary last March after he was poached by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is leaving the royal household to join the private equity group Bridgepoint as a partner.
The 31-year-old, who was previously William and Kate’s communications secretary, will head up corporate affairs for the £18 billion company.
It is understood he will remain an advisor to the royal couple, whom he is credited with protecting from the fallout from “Megxit”, helping them to maintain a visible presence throughout the coronavirus crisis.
A royal source said: “Whereas Simon was credited with making the Duke a statesman - Christian has really helped them to steer them through their public-facing role during the pandemic. He’s helped them to grow in confidence by gently pushing them out of their comfort zone.”
Having spent four years working as an economist in the Treasury under George Osborne, Mr Jones joined the Department for Exiting in the European Union in 2016 before joining the Europe Unit two years later.
He was recruited by Kensington Palace as deputy communications secretary in December 2018, providing PR advice to both the Cambridges and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
But within three months, as tensions began to build between the couples, he was promoted to William and Kate’s communications secretary.
Then after Mr Case, who is now the UK's Cabinet Secretary, was seconded to Downing Street, he became the Duke’s private secretary and head of the royal household.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Jones was named in court as being one of four royal aides who will be asked to give evidence in Meghan's case against Associated Newspapers over the publication of a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle Snr.
His departure comes after it emerged that Julian Payne, Prince Charles’s spin doctor of five years, is leaving Clarence House to join Edelman, the communications firm.
Watch: How the line of succession to the throne works