Former Shrewsbury Colleges Group student, James Holt, has been appointed as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new right-hand man.

James Holt for website

James Holt, who went to Mary Webb School in Pontesbury and Shrewsbury College Sixth Form College, as it was then known, is the new executive director of the Archewell Foundation, Meghan and Harry's not-for-profit organisation to promote charitable works.

Mr Holt, a former reporter on the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle, succeeds Catherine St Laurent, who said she would continue to work for the couple in an advisory role.

Mr Holt previously served as the couple's UK spokesman and has also worked with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In 2018, Mr Holt, from Shrewsbury, now aged 39, was invited to be the special guest speaker at the Higher Education Graduation Ceremony for Shrewsbury Colleges Group at St Chad’s Church.

James, studied English, Politics and Spanish A Levels at the College in 1998. He then went onto university to study Journalism and started working for the Midlands News Association at the Shrewsbury Chronicle as a reporter in 2004 during which time he was one of only a few British journalists to be able to travel to Basra, Iraq to cover the war efforts.

He won a national award for his reporting and then moved to Severn Radio as a news anchor.

James’s career continued when he moved to London and started working for the Liberal Democrats as a press officer before eventually becoming a Special Adviser in the Cabinet Office and then working in Number 10 during the Coalition. He was also a Director of Pride, one of the biggest Pride Parades in the world, in London 2016 and 2017.

In 2018 year, James started a new role as a media adviser at Kensington Palace, working with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He was instrumental in the coverage of the Sussex’s wedding and was in attendance as a guest at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

James also ran the London Marathon in 2018 to raise funds and awareness of Heads Together, a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex.

James said: “When I look back, Shrewsbury Sixth Form was probably the experience that set me on my career path. It was the first time I saw all the potential opportunities in life, and when I fell in love with politics, media, language and debate. It was a wonderful mix of academic, creative and social challenges that I genuinely believe has helped shape me since.”

Mr Holt also played a major role in the launch and development of Travalyst, a not-for-profit organisation founded by the Duke in partnership with several leading companies in the travel industry to create a sustainable tourist sector which puts local communities first.

Additionally, Mr Holt also serves on the boards of UK-based charities Justice Defenders and Inspiring Girls.

Archewell was founded by The Duke and Duchess last year, and recently provided financial support to URL Media and the PressPad Charitable Foundation, which aims to encourage diversity in journalism.

It has also provided support for organisations working in mental wellbeing and social justice, Mind UK and black civil rights organisation Color of Change.

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