Changes are ahead. Kate Middleton and Prince William's Chief Executive of The Royal Foundation, Jason Knauf, announced on Wednesday, May 12, that he is resigning from his role after seven years.
"Jason Knauf will stand down as Chief Executive of The Royal Foundation at the end of December 2021 after seven years of working with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge," the note, which was uploaded to social media, began. "Having first joined as Communications Secretary at Kensington Palace in February 2015, Jason led a review of the Foundation’s role and structure from March 2019 before becoming CEO in September of that year."
"In his time as Chief Executive. Jason has overseen the development and launch of the Foundation’s most ambitious programme to date — the Earthshot Prize — as well as the continue development of The Duchess’ pioneering work on early childhood. He has helped steer the Foundation’s response to COVID-19, establishing a response fund which saw 1.8 million pounds granted to causes supporting frontline workers and the mental health needs of the nation in August 2019," the message continued.
"At the start of 3021, The Royal Foundation embarked on a new strategy, built around its strengths in research, partnerships and impact delivery. This approach will help the Foundation respond to new challenges where it is best place to make a difference, while continuing to step up the global ambition for The Duke and Duchess’ philanthropic work," the note concluded. "The process for recruiting a new Chief Executive will begin in the coming weeks and Jason’s successor will be announced in due course. Jason will remain in post until the end of 2021 before a planned international relocation that has necessitated his decision to stand down."
Despite leaving Kate and William, the couple had nothing but positive things to say about Knauf. “Jason has been an integral part of our team since 2015," they said in a statement. "We are immensely grateful for his hard work and commitment, both at The Royal Foundation and previously as our Communications Secretary. Since taking over as Chief Executive, Jason has driven positive change, making our vision for our charitable work and the causes that matter most to us a reality. We are sad to see him go but wish him all the very best in his future career. We look forward to launching the recruitment search shortly and welcoming a new Chief Executive later on this year.”
For his part, Knauf said: “Working with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been the privilege of my career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I have had to support their leadership in the UK and internationally. The months ahead will be the busiest time in the Foundation’s history with the first awards for The Earthshot Prize and more progress on our early childhood work. We have a lot to do with our amazing team and all of our partners.”
Recently, Knauf was dragged into Meghan Markle's copyright trial after a letter she wrote her father was seen by Knauf, meaning that the letter belonged to the Crown.
However, on Wednesday, May 5, a U.K. High Court heard Knauf "emphatically" denied being a co-author. Additionally, lawyers representing the Queen told Meghan's legal team that they "did not consider the Crown to be the copyright owner."
“Mr. Knauf did not draft, and has never claimed to have drafted, any parts of the electronic draft or the letter and would never have asserted copyright over any of their content. In our client’s view, it was the duchess’ letter alone," his lawyers said.