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Princess Kate Has Appointed a (Very Good Looking) Private Secretary Who Bears an Uncanny Resemblance to Tennis Pro Roger Federer

 Lieutenant Colonel Tom White.
Lieutenant Colonel Tom White.

News on the royal front has been pretty gloomy lately, including intel that Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson—also known as King Charles’ “hot equerry”—was stepping back from public-facing duties for a more behind-the-scenes role after he apparently hated the massive amount of attention he got after the Coronation for being, well, hot. (I mean, look at this guy. Can you really blame us?)

Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson
Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson

Thompson will now “help King Charles with his private affairs,” The Daily Mail reported; The Times added that “while he remains senior equerry to the King and the Queen,” Thompson will now serve in a “more executive” role to “carry out his duties away from the public eye.” An equerry, by the way, is an officer in the royal household who assists members of the royal family, and Thompson assisted the King “with his daily duties, standing beside him at public events and looking after the monarch’s carriages, coaches, and Rolls-Royces used at state ceremonies,” The Daily Mail writes.

Disappointing news, yes, but all is not lost. The royal family can always count on Princess Kate and apparently so can we, as she has hired a (gorgeous) new private secretary that, interestingly, bears a striking resemblance to her friend, tennis legend Roger Federer. We’ll take it! We’d like to volunteer to be on the welcoming committee for Lieutenant Colonel Tom White, who started his new gig at the end of February, People reports.

Lieutenant Colonel Tom White
Lieutenant Colonel Tom White

Kate had been without a private secretary for over a year before hiring White, who will lead her staff and simultaneously provide us some respite from the heavy start to 2024 all royal fans have experienced. “Oh my, he looks like Roger Federer,” one commenter wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter). They added a heart-eyed emoji for full effect, because—yes.

Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2023
Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2023

In simpler times, last summer Kate and Federer joined forces for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ball Boys and Girls at Wimbledon program, and the two sat courtside together on the second day of the revered tennis championship. Kate is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and Federer is, well, Federer. He told The New York Times that he enjoyed watching the tournament with her: “It was so fun sitting next to Princess Catherine,” Federer said. “I know her quite well. She is an avid tennis fan, and she plays herself.” (For his part, Federer retired from the sport back in 2022.)

Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2023
Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2023

Okay, awesome, but back to Lieutenant Colonel White. Though he may be new to Kate’s team, he is an old pro at working for the royal family; he most recently served as equerry to Queen Elizabeth, who died in September 2022. Though Her late Majesty scaled back public appearances in her later years as the pandemic raged on, White was seen alongside her at Trooping the Colour in June 2021 and again at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. White was also on hand to greet former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Balmoral Castle on September 6, 2022, when he resigned from his position to pass the role to Liz Truss. The meetings were the late Queen’s final audiences before her death two days later at age 96.

Lieutenant Colonel Tom White
Lieutenant Colonel Tom White

The Telegraph reports that White joined the team at Buckingham Palace in 2020 after serving with the Royal Marines. While serving in Afghanistan in 2009 White, then 22, “helped stop a school bombing by the Taliban after wires were spotted under a classroom door before detonation,” People writes.

Eagle-eyed royal followers might recognize White’s face from late last year, when he attended Kate’s inaugural Shaping Us National Symposium in London in November. Prior to White’s appointment as private secretary, Hannah Cockburn-Logie held the role from 2020 to 2022 before departing for personal reasons; prior to Cockburn-Logie, Catherine Quinn held the role from 2017 to 2019. At the time of her departure, The Daily Mail reported that the two women left their working relationship on the “best of terms.”

The Telegraph described Kate’s appointment of White as “something of a return to tradition for the household, reflecting the royal family’s close ties to the military and a link with her late grandmother-in-law.”

Lieutenant Colonel Tom White
Lieutenant Colonel Tom White

Prince William, too, has appointed a new person to run his office. Also at the end of February, William appointed Ian Patrick—a former diplomat—to lead his team. Patrick worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in international peacekeeping in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is also a trustee of the charity Chron’s and Colitis U.K. “On the heels of those appointments will be a CEO-type appointment to head up the couple’s joint teams,” People reports. “The hire has yet to be announced.”