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A New Zealand woman is at the centre of a royal office love triangle involving a senior aide to the Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince Harry's assistant, Clara Madden, 29, has been dating Kate Middleton's media adviser Nick Loughran - three months after Loughran dumped another royal staffer, Rebecca Deacon, who works as Kate's PA.

Madden, who has previously worked for Kate and William, was with Harry on a visit to King's College Hospital this week while Deacon - who had been in a two-year relationship with Loughran before he called it off - joined Kate at Wimbledon for the tennis.

Madden's family are based in Dunedin. Her mother, Robyn, declined comment on the romance yesterday and the Madden family's strong ties to the royals.


This week Palace officials confirmed Loughran, who has worked for the royals for eight years, will be leaving his post for a new job, a public relations gig in the private sector.

"Nick has been an excellent, hard-working, and thoughtful member of the team," Jason Knauf, communications chief to William, Kate and Harry said. "From jubilees, weddings, babies, polar explorations and tours to every corner of the planet, Nick has seen it all and contributed in every way possible."

A Palace source told the Daily Mail, "This will be better for all concerned. Nick's relationship with Clara has become increasingly serious and it will give him a fresh start away from the royal hothouse."

When Kate and William visited New Zealand in 2014, the royals met Clara's parents.

Her brother, Nicolas Madden, is a tenor in The Queen's Six - an a capella singing group based at Windsor Castle that performs for the royal family, including private functions for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Clara's father, Richard Madden, is also a keen singer and musical director of the Royal Dunedin Male Choir.

Loughran is moving to Freuds, a PR company founded by Matthew Freud, whose late father, former British politician and broadcaster Sir Clement Freud, was last month exposed for child sex abuse.

A friend of Loughran's told the Daily Mail his departure was not connected to his love life: "Nick always planned to leave Kensington Palace to work in the private sector."