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Why has the Queen's most loyal aide suddenly left his role?

Sir Christopher Geidt was the Queen's Private Secretary. Credit: PA

It is quite something for the Queen's most trusted aide to step down from the role.

It is something else entirely for him to suddenly leave.

But it's become clear, since the publication of a Times article this weekend about Sir Christopher Geidt, that the Queen's Private Secretary did not want to quit his job.

Other members of the Royal Family are said to be furious.

In fact, Buckingham Palace insiders and some family members have referred to it as a "coup" and "something out of the middle ages".

The stories prompted an unprecedented statement from all three Palaces Credit: PA

It all leaves the rather large and obvious question: why did the Queen let him go?

Sir Christopher was a very loyal and highly respected public servant who had been at the Queen's side for a decade.

He masterminded what you might call a golden period for the Queen.

There was her hugely successful Diamond Jubilee, her 90th birthday, and the gradual handover of duties to other members of the royal family.

On the surface, it all appears to have gone without a hitch: Princes William and Harry are carrying out more duties on behalf of the Queen; Prince Charles is increasingly stepping in where the Queen cannot; the Queen's other children are carrying a greater share of the workload.

Sir Christopher oversaw the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. Credit: PA

But the tensions which exist between the various 'courts' (better known these days as Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace) came to a head before the summer.

The precise reasons for his departure are unclear but the rumours range from Prince Charles being frustrated with the slow pace of the handover of power - to Clarence House wanting more say over how various royal estates are run.

The Times reported that the Prince of Wales was unhappy with the work of the Queen's Private Secretary and pushed for his departure.

The newspaper also claims the Queen agreed to sever ties because she wanted to avoid a serious family row.

And so Sir Christopher Geidt was forced to leave.

It was the Lord Chamberlain, Earl Peel (the most senior official in the royal household) who asked Sir Christopher to go.

It is rumoured that Prince Charles was unhappy with a slow handover. Credit: PA

The stories prompted an unprecedented statement from all three Palaces stating that "the Prince of Wales and the entire Royal Family are committed to supporting the Queen in whatever way they can at Her Majesty's request."

While we never comment on the confidential employment details of individuals, it was previously announced in July that Sir Christopher Geidt is stepping down after ten years as Private Secretary.

At the time of the announcement, the Lord Chamberlain paid tribute to the major contribution made by Sir Christopher who, in turn, commended the support offered to Her Majesty by other members of the Royal Family.

Indeed, recent years have seen an ever-closer working relationship between all the different Royal Households and their respective teams.

The Prince of Wales and the entire Royal Family are committed to supporting The Queen in whatever way they can at Her Majesty's request.

Beyond that, we are not going to engage with a story based on rumours from unnamed sources.

– BUCKINGHAM PALACE, CLARENCE HOUSE AND KENSINGTON PALACE
There were reports of tensions within the royal family. Credit: PA

The statement also pointed out that "recent years have seen an ever-closer working relationship between all the different Royal Households."

That is true to a point.

Sir Christopher did chair regular meetings - as often as every week -between Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace so that the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry could all coordinate their work.

Royal sources have also pointed out to me that Prince Charles has a packed schedule of his own and is already very busy with those projects.

However, the sudden departure of such a senior and trusted aide of the Queen, has caused some severe damage between members of the royal family and among the staff who work for them.

So it means the tremors from this particular change of personnel will be felt in the royal households for some time.