Catherine St-Laurent predicts Meghan and Harry "have the potential to be very influential leaders in the social-impact space"

Advertisement

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's former chief of staff is opening up about her "incredible experience" working for the couple.

Catherine St-Laurent — who worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation before working with Meghan and Prince Harry to steer the Archewell Foundation in early 2020 — told The Cut that she predicts the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have "potential to be very influential."

"It was an incredible experience," she said of working with Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36. "They are incredibly talented and creative leaders. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to do that, to be able to be with them on their journey. The time that I spent with them was incredibly fulfilling."

St-Laurent added, "I think they have the potential to be very influential leaders in the social-impact space. I look forward to continuing to be a part of that."

prince harry and Meghan
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty
Royal Ascot
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

The Times in the U.K. claimed in a March report that Meghan faced a bullying complaint made by one of her close advisers during her time as a working royal at Kensington Palace — something her office has strongly refuted.

Historian Robert Lacey said in an updated version of his book Battle of Brothers: The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult that Prince William and Prince Harry's tensions worsened in October 2018 when William learned that a senior palace aide was making allegations of bullying by Meghan to staffers.

Princess Diana Statue
Prince Harry and Prince William
| Credit: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty

It was announced in March 2020, after Meghan and Harry stepped down from their senior royal roles and relocated to California, that St-Laurent would serve as the couple's chief of staff as well as executive director of their nonprofit organization. Eleven months later, she announced on LinkedIn that she had transitioned to a role as advisor for their Archewell Foundation.

"It's been a privilege working closely with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex helping to establish Archewell Foundation in its first year," she said. "Their commitment to compassion and wellbeing has been the undercurrent of all our activities both within the organization as well as with impactful projects of the foundation on the ground. I am deeply proud of what we've accomplished together and I'm honored to remain on as an advisor."

St-Laurent then launched Acora Partners, a philanthropic advising and social-impact consulting firm, with business partner Rebecca Goldman.

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace announced in February that Meghan and Prince Harry "will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family."

"Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service," the palace said in a statement.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! 

The parents of two (Archie, 2, and 1-month-old Lilibet) pushed back with a statement of their own.

"We can all live a life of service. Service is universal," they said.

Prince Harry and Meghan's office also said that the pair "remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role."