Princess of Wales hires Jamie Oliver’s ‘straight talking’ ex-campaigns manager to ‘shake things up’
The Princess of Wales has hired a brand management expert as her new private secretary as she aims to “shake things up” at Kensington Palace, it has emerged.
Alison Corfield, a 51-year-old mother of three, is described as “loud”, “persuasive” and “straight talking”.
A former air stewardess from Croydon, she masterminded chef Jamie Oliver’s free school meals campaign - pushing to raise awareness of food education in schools, reduce junk food advertising and introduce a sugar tax.
A royal source told The Sunday Times: "Alison is an unusual fit. She is a bit out there for Kensington Palace, but there is a move to recruit more modernisers and people with private sector experience, not just civil servants. She will run rings around the courtiers and shake things up a bit.
"She will be a massive breath of fresh air at Kensington Palace. She is loud, tons of fun and full of energy and enthusiasm."
Ms Corfield will replace Hannah Cockburn-Logie, a diplomat with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who The Telegraph revealed had stepped down shortly after the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year for personal reasons.
It is claimed that the Princess actively sought out a "different kind of courtier" as she aims to step up her public work and make more of an impact.
A source who worked with Ms Corfield on Oliver's campaigns, said: "She's a ball-breaker, a real straight talker, very passionate, dynamic and genuinely funny. She makes things happen and will really push things forward at the palace."
Ms Cockburn-Logie was hired by the then Duchess of Cambridge in May 2020, having impressed her when, as a diplomat working for the British High Commission in India, she led William and Kate’s tour of India and Bhutan in 2016.
She guided the then Duchess throughout the fallout from the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and through lockdown.
She had replaced Catherine Quinn, former chief operating officer at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School, who helped develop the Princess’s early years project.
Kensington Palace declined to comment.
Meanwhile, the Princess urged children to “keep talking about your feelings” as she marked the start of Children’s Mental Health Week.
The campaign was organised by the charity Place2Be, of which the Princess is patron.
Joining a craft session at St John’s CofE primary school in Bethnal Green, east London, she spoke to pupils about “the importance of connections”.