Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

She was the inspector who whisked the Duchess of Sussex out of harm’s way when large crowds at a bustling market raised security fears on an overseas visit.

But in future Meghan will have to look to someone else to keep her safe – as her armed Scotland Yard bodyguard has announced that she is quitting.

The inspector’s appointment as head of protection made her the first woman to hold such a key post for the Royals, but she will now become the latest in a string of aides to stop working for the duchess.

She follows personal assistant Melissa Touabti, who departed Kensington Palace last year after six months in the role, and Harry and Meghan’s private secretary Samantha Cohen. Ms Cohen is set to leave this year after 17 years with the royal family, although her role with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was on a temporary basis until the post could be filled permanently.

The departures have raised eyebrows and prompted claims that the prince, 34, and his wife have not endeared themselves to staff with reportedly dictatorial behaviour. There have also been rumours of a rift between the duchess, 37, and her sister-in-law Kate, also 37.

The bodyguard, who has not been named for security reasons, has been head of Meghan and Harry’s security for less than a year. A Scotland Yard source told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s true she is leaving. She told the household and principals at Christmas.

‘But it’s for personal reasons and absolutely nothing to with the duke or duchess, who are hugely disappointed at losing her.

‘She has made a decision to leave the Met Police. It’s a real shame as she was a great addition to the team and hugely liked.

‘It came as quite a shock. Everyone was very sad at the news. As was she. It was clear it was a decision she hadn’t taken lightly.’ A royal source denied any sort of personality clash with Meghan.

However, it was reported that the desire of the American former actress to be seen as ‘one of the people’ has presented challenges to her protection team. ‘Unlike someone who has grown up in the royal family and has been used to having close protection from an early age, it can be quite constraining,’ an insider told The Sunday Times.

‘Even though she was a famous actress, she could still do what she wanted in the way of getting around freely.

‘But in her current role she can’t go anywhere without her protection team and that’s a massive constraining force on an individual like her.’ The inspector, who was armed with a gun and Taser while on duty, replaced Harry’s long-term head of security, Sergeant Bill Renshaw, who retired last year after 31 years with the police.

In October, she was with the couple on a Pacific tour when she helped rush the duchess out of a solo visit to a market in Fiji, cutting it short because of the crowds and sweltering conditions.

Meghan, then 14 weeks into her pregnancy, was meeting female entrepreneurs but was whisked away after only eight minutes. Kensington Palace said it was due to ‘crowd management issues’.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick is keen to raise the number of women in senior jobs. But colleagues said the bodyguard was ‘brilliant’ and had earned the role on merit.

The Duchesses of Cambridge and Cornwall both also have female personal protection officers on their security teams.

Kensington Palace and the Met Police declined to comment.

Daily Mail