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“Irreplaceable” is what Patrick Jephson, Chief of Staff to Diana, Princess of Wales, told Hollywood on the Potomac without hesitation when asked to describe his ‘boss’ in one word at a celebration in his honor for the re-release of his New York Times bestseller Shadows of a Princess at The Watergate home of Michelle Kim, co-hosted by Janie Kim & John McCarthy.

Here’s what else we learned: They were both young with very little age difference (five years to be exact), but their relationship was always strictly professional, as it should be. That he hopes that his service to Diana was useful: “I was in an unusual position. There was no precedent for what I was doing. I was head of the newest royal household and I had to work very hard during difficult times to make sure that the other households, so far as possible, knew what we were doing and what our intentions were.” On leaving the royal service: “One of the things about royal service is that when you leave you have left. The turnover of courtiers throughout history has been fairly regular. It’s one of those jobs that you are grateful for. It’s an immense honor, and there are those who feel they cannot cut the tie, but it is an opportunity after royal service to use an extraordinary yardstick with which to measure all other opportunities that come in your life.” He doesn’t have any current relationship with the royal family members: “I served my eight years. I was grateful for the honor. It was very intense and it has continued to give me an extraordinary personal and professional resource on which to draw, but I don’t have any current relations, contact with the royal family.” On who he would like to take over the monarchy: “I made my choice by immigrating to the United States. I am a grateful and proud American citizen, and I will observe with close interest what happens in the future of the royal family.”