A social media whiz kid who was considered Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 'secret weapon' has been headhunted by Prince William and Kate Middleton.
David Watkins, 27, was the Sussexes digital communications lead and ran the @SussexRoyal Instagram account, helping the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 38, recruit 11.5 million followers with candid snaps and artful videos.
He was among 15 loyal members of staff being made redundant as a result of their decision to step down as working royals and move to North America.
But now he has been snapped up by the Duke, 37, and Duchess of Cambridge, 38, to work on their digital communications and social media and, according to his LinkedIn page, started the new role last week.
Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle's, 38, social media whiz David Watkins has been snapped up by Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 38, after the Sussexes move to California
It's a savvy hire – the social media whiz was described as 'the secret weapon' who worked at the very heart of Team Sussex.
David was poached by Prince Harry and Meghan from fashion house Burberry last April, and joined the couple as they launched their hugely successful Instagram page.
He is believed to have worked particularly closely with Meghan, who amassed millions of followers on social media while working as an actress, and loved interacting with her fans.
The former Suits star often posted on pictures of her doing yoga, cuddling her dogs and enjoying a glass of wine on her Instagram account.
David was described as the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes' 'secret weapon' and was behind their enormously popular Instagram page
In fact, many believed the Duchess took a hands-on approach to the Instagram page, with fans regularly spotted Americanised spellings, as well as dollar signs and American English in the captions, and claiming this pointed to a US native writing them.
The Duke and Duchess' Sussex Royal account broke a Guinness World Record when launching on April 2 last year.
It became the fastest Instagram profile to reach one million followers in less than six hours.
Since then, the page has been used for announcing important news for the couple, including the gender of Archie after his birth, as well as sharing behind-the-scenes snaps and videos of their work.
David's Linkedin page now reveals he is working for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their digital communications
David's transfer from being a key figure at the heart of 'Team Sussex' to 'Team Cambridge' is unlikely to go down well with Harry and Meghan, however.
The two Instagram accounts have both pages attracting millions of followers in a head-to-head race.
This is despite the Cambridges' account Kensington Royal being around for much longer, while the Sussexes only started their account last April.
At the end of March, Prince Harry and Meghan ditched their hugely successful @SussexRoyal account after they were asked to drop their 'Sussex Royal' brand as part of their agreement to step down as senior royals.
It is believed David worked closely with Meghan during his time with the Sussexes. The former actress was somewhat of a social media afficiando before joining the royal family, often sharing pictures of her life online (pictured, relaxing at home with her dogs in a snap shared to Instagram)
In their final post to the page, Prince Harry and Meghan promised to continue their charity work behind the scenes, and revealed they were focusing 'the new chapter to understand how to best contribute' before effectively 'closing' the account.
Earlier this year, the Mail revealed that the couple were making their entire team redundant as a result of their decision to move abroad and close their Palace office down.
The staff included Harry's longstanding programme coordinator, Clara Loughran, who was so well-regarded that she was asked to hand Meghan her bouquet in church on her wedding day in 2018.
Meanwhile Prince Harry and Meghan shut down the popular Instagram page at the end of last month, having amassed 11 million followers in a year (pictured, their final post)
One royal source said at the time that the couple's decision to hire a team of US-based agents and publicists – many of whom had worked for Meghan when she was an actress – had made life incredibly difficult for their Palace staff.
Harry and Meghan, who are now living in Los Angeles in California, are now planning to spend the next few months focusing on their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Earlier this week the couple said they 'look forward' to getting started with the foundation, named Archewell, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand.