Rebecca Deacon has become Her Royal Highness's most trusted and relied upon aide since the royal wedding.
The youngest of three sisters, Rebecca, known as Becca to her friends, was raised by her mother Selina after her father Michael, an army major passed away in 1986 when she was just three. After working as a house mother at Port Regis prep school in Dorset, her mother was ordained as a priest and is now a vicar at St John's, in the small Wiltshire Parish of Upper Studley. In 2007 she presided over her daughter Hannah's wedding.
During a 2009 interview Selina spoke and her work and her daughter's reaction:
'I was widowed when I was 34 and my daughters were eight, six and three. I had always been a regular churchgoer, and during that terrible time my faith became more of a living thing. The girls were filled with dread at the thought of seeing their mother in a 'dog collar' - not cool. My daughters are very proud now. My youngest, Becca, said she loves seeing me at the altar.'
In fact, Rebecca's family have moved in royal circles for some time. Her uncle Sir Philip Trousedell, ran Sandhurst Military Academy just a few years before Prince William and Harry attended. Appropriately Rebecca was a pupil at the exclusive Royal School in Bath, a school for pupils aged three to eighteen, before studying English at Newcastle University.
With her cut glass accent and talent for attention to detail, she landed her big break in 2007 when she worked on the Concert for Diana as an assistant to the producers. It was an incredibly important event for the Princes, marking ten years since the tragic death of their mother and raising much needed funds for causes close to their hearts including the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, homeless charity Centrepoint and a charity Harry co-founded, Sentebale.
William took notice of the brunette's organisational skills and her ability to work under pressure ensuring any project she's involved with runs smoothly. Following this, she worked with Harry's aforementioned charity before transitioning into the Princes' private office, where she quietly earned the respect of the royals through her hard work and dedication.
On 16th November 2010, a very special announcement came which altered the course of Ms. Deacon's career.
When William and Kate announced their engagement, wedding preparations were at the forefront of everyone's mind. However Prince William was quietly thinking ahead, considering the role, duties, responsibilities and pressures of the public glare his new bride would face and felt it important to ensure Kate had a valued member of staff whom she could rely on as she made the transition from Kate Middleton to future queen. With input from his most trusted aide, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Rebecca was assigned to Kate.
At the time, a royal source told The Mirror:
'William has never forgotten the way his mother was left to cope without any support from courtiers. He is determined that will never happen to Kate, even though it has brought him into conflict with officials from time to time. He wants to surround Kate with people she can trust.'
Rebecca took on her new role with aplomb and began juggling the various duties her role encompasses. Her duties include planning Kate's diary, ensuring the Duchess is fully prepared for engagements, knowing the background of the organisation and information on the people she will meet. From writing speeches, answering phone calls and keeping up with essential correspondence to ensuring there isn't a hair out of place before Kate meets the press, it's all part of her job.
As the Duchess began to undertake royal engagements and her first solo appearances whilst William was deployed to the Falklands, Rebecca was by her side for what must have been quite a daunting new experience.
When Kate greets the public at a walkabout, one often observes Rebecca quietly moving things along to ensure the needs of the schedule are met at all times.
As private secretary to The Duchess of Cambridge, Rebecca's position requires her to accompany the Cambridges on overseas trips including the most recent royal tour.
At the London 2012 games.
Rebecca visited Kate when she was hospitalised during the early stages of her pregnancy.
Sharing laughs with Prince Harry at the recent Commonwealth Games.
Kate and Rebecca are around the same age and one imagines it's quite nice for her to have another woman around to chat with and discuss things, work-related and otherwise. Having such a trusted aide by her side has helped the Duchess become more confident and adjust to royal life.
It has been interesting to observe the growing interest in Rebecca's style during the last couple of years and we've found we're sometimes asked 'What did Rebecca Wear?' immediately after publishing a post. And it's not in the least surprising to hear those questions. Rebecca has an understated style which she no doubt puts plenty of thought into.
She is always perfectly dressed for the occasion and like Kate, ensures she is respectful of the event whilst never overshadowing the Duchess in the style stakes. Her wardrobe includes some striking pieces from Zara, Reiss, and Hobbs, with stylish black boots and sensible court shoes from Russell & Bromley.
This look below is a classic example of her style. A pretty black and white rope print shift dress by Oasis teamed with a fitted black blazer, black pumps and tights. Rebecca wore it for Kate's first solo engagement at the National Portrait Gallery.
A closer look at the dress.
Does Kate's style influence Rebecca's? While we know Kate chooses her own clothing and her sense of style has evolved and changed in recent years, there's no denying Rebecca has some input and there are similarities in their style. During the recent royal tour of New Zealand and Australia she wore a 'very Kate' dress from Alice Temperley's diffusion line for John Lewis, 'Somerset by Alice Temperley'.
The Contrast Trim Dress from the SS13 Collection was an excellent choice. Youthful yet appropriate and perfect for the weather conditions. Embroidered with the signature whimsical aesthetic of the Temperley brand, it offers a Victorian-style finish to a contemporary shirt dress. It's a piece I could easily envisage Kate wearing.
|Somerset by Alice Temperley|
During the tour the Duchess carried a new clutch bag by well-known Australian brand Oroton. Rebecca, too, debuted a new bag by the brand. It's possible Kate was sent a selection to choose from and they both chose their favourites.
Like the Duchess, Rebecca recycles and has a selection of go-to pieces we see time and time again.
Looking effortlessly stylish in an elegant navy gown at the Tusk Conservation Awards alongside William's private secretary Miguel Head.
As Kate's right-hand woman, Rebecca works closely with other members of staff at Kensington Palace. Working closely and often spending weeks abroad and away from home leads to close friendships and last year it was revealed she had become particularly close to Nick Loughran, the Cambridge's media advisor. The two have been seeing each other since and it is reported to be "very serious" according to various royal sources (now that would be a wedding for William and Kate to attend, should it progress to that stage :)).
The demands of Rebecca's role will change in time to come. When William becomes first-in-line it will undoubtedly become a much more hectic role as she organises a full-time schedule of engagements for Kate and helps her to make another transition just as she did after the royal wedding.
A source told The Mirror:
'Rebecca has become a key person in the Duchess' life. She knows when to stand back and let Kate meet the public and when to step forward and introduce herself.
Although Rebecca now has a relationship with the young royals where she can be relaxed and talk to them as her friends, she remains very respectful of their status. She will routinely curtsy and maintains an entirely professional relationship with them. The younger royals are known for being more relaxed, but there is still a respect for tradition.'
I do love this photo which was taken during a trip to Scotland last year after an event had ended. An onlooker caught the snap of the two sharing a giggle on the way back to their car. There's something very natural about the informality of it and it's interesting to see them interacting outside of a professional setting.
|Simon Vigar Twitter Feed|
I expect we'll see Rebecca by Kate's side for many years to come, and it will be quite a journey for Ms. Deacon as she helps to prepare her for future life as a queen.