Meghan Markle's friend given special recognition by Queen in New Year's Honours list

Meghan Markle's friend has been given special recognition by the Queen in New Year's Honours list [Image: Getty]

A royal aide working for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has been recognised by the Queen in her New Year’s Honours list.

Clara Loughran, who holds the role of Senior Programme Coordinator for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has been made a Member of the Victorian Order by the monarch.

The prestigious award is bequeathed to those who have served Her Majesty or another member of the royal family.

It was announced earlier this week, that the Duke, 35, and Duchess’ right-hand woman was to be honoured.

Clara Loughran works as a Senior Programme Coordinator for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex [Image: PA Images]

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Clara - who is originally from New Zealand - grew close to the couple after becoming heavily involved in their royal wedding in Windsor last year.

On the big day itself she played an important part in proceedings by handing Meghan, 38, her bouquet of flowers as she left the ceremony at St George's Chapel.

The 32-year-old is married to Prince William and Kate Middleton's former media adviser.

She also accompanied the Duke and Duchess on their royal tour of New Zealand in 2018.

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The royal aide joins 1,097 people receiving honours this year, who include Olivia Newton John, Ben Stokes, Gabby Logan, Sir Elton John and Nadiya Hussain.

It comes as Meghan and Harry accepted the resignation of another top aide in October.

Samantha Cohen, 51, is set to embark on a new role at an eco-charity dedicated to reducing carbon emissions, according to the Daily Mail.

The staff member has taken a new job at Cool Earth, an organisation that aims to halt tropical deforestation.

The royal aide played an important role in the couple's Windsor wedding last year [Image: Instagram]

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One of the charity’s partners is the Royal Commonwealth Society, so it is likely Samantha - as a new co-chair of the board of trustees - will cross paths with the royal family in the future.

She has worked for Meghan and Harry since the departure of predecessor Edward Lane Fox in 2018, and recently accompanied them on their Africa royal tour.

The aide was also pictured with the duchess for her first engagement with the Queen shortly after her wedding.

She announced last year that she would be leaving after the birth of Archie, who arrived in May.

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It comes as the Sussex family are currently enjoying a six week break from royal duties.

The couple are staying in a property on Vancouver Island in Canada where they spent baby son Archie’s first Christmas.

They informed the Queen earlier this year that they would not be joining the rest of the royal family at Sandringham.

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