William, Kate, Meghan and Harry pay tribute following sad palace news

He will be missed!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sussex have thanked Sir David Manning for his service as he prepares to step down from his role as their special advisor, it's been revealed. The 69-year-old was received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday afternoon upon relinquishing his appointment, the Court Circular recorded. Senior aide David joined William and Harry's household a decade ago in 2009, when the brothers' royal profile was growing, going on to mentor Kate and more recently, Meghan. No doubt he will be very much missed by both royal households.

The fab four have paid tribute to David and thanked him for his help over the years

A spokesman for the Cambridges and Sussexes said: "Their Royal Highnesses are incredibly grateful for the guidance and support that Sir David has provided over the last 10 years. His wise counsel has been central to the success of their international tours and the early stages of their official work as members of the royal family."

Prince Charles reveals all about the royal baby

David's role was seen as unique, and therefore will not be replaced. While he is ending his formal role, he will continue to act as a trusted informal adviser - he is said to be close to both couples, particularly to William and Harry. Before working with the royal family, he was Tony Blair's foreign policy adviser, and has mentored the brothers on a range of issues over the years including foreign affairs and government matters.

Loading the player...

Sir David was also instrumental in helping Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, in preparing for royal life. He was seen as a safe pair of hands who could work behind the scenes to guide the future queen, and ensure she was well supported – going on to do the same for the Duchess of Sussex as she made her own transition to royal life in 2018. David has also joined both couples on a number of royal tours, including William and Kate's first joint trip to Canada and the US, and Harry and Meghan's tour of Dublin following their wedding.

THIS A list actor has been friends with Prince William and Prince Harry since they were kids

The Cambridges and Sussexes are set to split their royal household and formally separate their staff within weeks, as Harry and Meghan prepare to move to Windsor to welcome their first baby together. The division of the household is thought to be a natural move with the royal brothers' former double act having developed into two couples and their families.