the queen smiling

See what the Queen gave her senior aide as a leaving present just before Christmas

Sally Osman was director of royal communications

Ainhoa Barcelona

One of the Queen's most senior members of staff has left her role at the palace. Sally Osman worked as the director of royal communications for the monarch, but announced her resignation earlier this summer. On Tuesday, Sally was received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace and presented with a very special leaving gift – an investiture of the Insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order.

Sally, who was considered one of the Queen's most senior PR chiefs, started working for the royal family as head of communications for Prince Charles and Camilla in 2013. Her role was extended to include the Queen when Buckingham Palace and Clarence House's PR offices merged in 2014. Sally previously worked as a journalist and was director of communications at the BBC. She was also employed as director of corporate communications at Sony.

Sally worked as director of royal communications

The Royal Victorian Order was first established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It is the highest order of chivalry that the Queen gives personally, and only goes to those who have served her or the monarchy in a specific way. Other past recipients of the order have included Her Majesty's ladies-in-waiting, including The Honourable Mary Morrison and Lady Susan Hussey.

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Meghan joins the royal family for her first Christmas at Sandringham:

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As the Queen bids farewell to her PR chief, she is preparing to celebrate Christmas with her family. On Wednesday, she hosted her pre-Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace for her extended relatives. Later this week, she will travel to Sandringham where she will spend the holidays until early February.

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The 92-year-old monarch will host her immediate family at the 'big house' in Sandringham and put on a Christmas Eve dinner followed by a Christmas Day lunch. The royals also usually attend the traditional Christmas Day service on the 25th at St Mary's Magdalene.

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