The Princess of Wales has reportedly brought on a new straight-talking public relations specialist as her personal secretary in an attempt to “shake things up” at Kensington Palace.
Alice Corfield, a 51-year-old mother who directed the child obesity and free school meals campaigns for famed chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver, will become Kate Middleton’s most senior aide, the Sunday Times of London reported.
Corfield, the head of Oliver’s campaigns between 2015 and 2020, will replace Hannah Cockburn-Logie, who left the role last fall after about two and a half years at the job.
“She’s a ball-breaker, a real straight-talker, very passionate, dynamic and genuinely funny. She makes things happen and will really push things forward at the palace,” a source who worked with Corfield on Oliver’s campaigns told the Sunday Times.
Other royal sources acknowledged Corfield’s hiring as unconventional but said she aligns with Kensington Palace’s rejuvenation efforts.
“Alison is an unusual fit,” one royal source said. “She is a bit out there for Kensington Palace, but there is a move to recruit more modernizers and people with private-sector experience, not just civil servants. She will run rings around the courtiers and shake things up a bit.”
“She will be a massive breath of fresh air at Kensington Palace. She is loud, tons of fun and full of energy and enthusiasm,” another said.
Corfield has also previously worked with Labour MP Stella Creasy on her campaign to recruit more mothers as Labour politicians, according to her LinkedIn page.
She reportedly grew up in Croydon, South London, and spent over a decade climbing the corporate ladder in Richard Branson’s Virgin empire. She got her start there in 1993 as an airline stewardess for Virgin Atlantic, which she described as “flying glamorously around the globe as a member of the cabin crew.”
The news of Corfield’s hiring comes a week after Middleton launched her Shaping Up campaign, which focuses on awareness about the importance of early childhood development.