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Patrick Jephson

Former Private Secretary (Chief of Staff) to Diana, Princess of Wales

Former Private Secretary (Chief of Staff) to Diana, Princess of Wales

For eight years Patrick Jephson was Princess Diana’s private secretary (Chief of Staff), responsible for every aspect of her public life and private organization. He travelled with the Princess to five continents, working with officials up to head of state and encountering unforgettable figures in politics, philanthropy and the arts such as Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Mother Teresa, Bono and Luciano Pavarotti.  Under relentless media scrutiny, his tenure covered the period of Princess Diana’s greatest popularity as well as the constitutional controversy of her separation from Prince Charles. 

He is now a consultant, journalist, broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author, based in Washington DC. His byline has appeared in every UK national newspaper and international titles as varied as TIME magazine, Vanity Fair, People, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Paris Match. 

A published authority on corporate and personal branding, Patrick equally enjoys coaching C-suite executives, advising UHNWIs on reputation management and addressing PR conferences worldwide. Having worked for an internationally high-profile woman, he feels a special affinity for cross-cultural, protocol, gender and communications issues. 

He also writes, presents and advises on factual and drama TV programs, appearing on every major US network. He is currently an expert consultant to the award-winning Netflix series The Crown. 

Patrick was born and raised in Ireland and holds a master’s degree in political science from Cambridge University. A keen amateur historian, his ancestors include notable courtiers to Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and William III.  As an officer in the British Royal Navy, he served all over the world before being selected for royal duty. In March 2015 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. 

  • KEYNOTE: Heart-Centred Leadership

    As Private Secretary/Chief of Staff to Diana, Princess of Wales, Patrick Jephson was responsible for the public life and personal organization of one of the most influential women of her generation.

    Through her innately regal character, charisma and grace the Princess transformed the world’s perceptions of royalty. She humanized and modernized the British monarchy and is remembered as an unbeatable asset both for her country and the many humanitarian causes she championed. But how do you manage someone who leads from the heart as Diana did?

    In this session, developed exclusively for Executive Support LIVE, Patrick explores why the fourth industrial revolution and the aftermath of Covid mean heart-centred leadership is becoming a priority for more and more companies. He shares the key lessons that he learned from serving Diana and looks at how to balance emotional intelligence and empathy with the practical skills and knowledge needed to perform your role immaculately.

  • When the Boss is the Brand: care and maintenance of high-profile reputations
    • The importance of being proactive in promoting and protecting CEO reputation
    • Partnering with key colleagues in building corporate reputational resilience
    • Awareness of developing threats to individual and brand reputation
    • Earning “forgivability” for prominent executives – and for you
    • Handling and recovering from a reputation crisis: an EA’s checklist
  • Behind the scenes of Princess Diana's worldwide travels: planning, logistics, execution under pressure
    • “Leading from the heart”: emotional intelligence in a practical world
    • Scheduling and prioritizing – in a palace, yacht, private jet… and on the road
    • Multitasking: it’s a marathon not a sprint
    • Building a team to survive and thrive in stressful environments
    • Your Executive is human too: strategies to keep you both at peak performance when the heat is on
  • Practical Protocol: lessons from eight years with Princess Diana
    • Why protocol still matters in the digital age
    • Know the rules – and make them work for you
    • Win hearts and minds with well-planned spontaneity
    • Educate and protect your Executive, especially in culturally diverse interactions
    • Stay ahead of the game: influence key outcomes with confident “protocol instinct”
  • Real life crisis management: what to do when things go wrong
    • Keep your head when everybody else is losing theirs
    • Prepare for the worst: scenario planning in a hostile world
    • Communication in a crisis: with your executive, your colleagues, the media…and yourself
    • Resilience isn’t just an attitude: practical tips to survive the storm – and emerge with credit
    • Learn the lessons – and add steel to your resumé
  • Richard Stephenson OBE - Communications Director & International Conference Speaker, Communications Professional of the Year 2019.

    Patrick is one of those thoughtful and prepared speakers who not only researches his audience and tailors the most appropriate content from his vast repertoire, but who then delivers an engaging, entertaining and informative presentation, that is always well received.  I’ve seen Patrick in action in a wide range of settings, presenting to a diverse range of audiences and he always delivers a rousing talk worthy of a standing ovation.  I was so pleased that Patrick accepted an invitation to speak to my colleagues about his life’s work and experiences as I knew they would both enjoy and benefit from hearing one of the most interesting speakers around.

  • James K. Conzelman - President and CEO The Ripon Society and Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange

    I have twice engaged Patrick to address events celebrating the work of U.S. Congressional executive assistants and schedulers.  This is a knowledgeable and discriminating group of mostly young women professionals, and each time they were unanimous in their approval of Patrick’s talks.  Using well-chosen stories from his years with Princess Diana he combines humorous personal experience with usable, relevant advice packaged for today’s generation of personal staffers.  It’s a unique formula that earned enthusiastic audience response before, during and long after the event.  Plus, he has great stage presence.  

    Book him if you can.

  • Kosta Petrov - Chief Experience Officer P World

    For more than ten years I have booked Patrick Jephson as a keynote speaker in successful conferences and teaching events  in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  I could write a book on his speeches and how he has inspired thousands of people around the world.  As an expert in CEO reputation management his lectures have been especially valuable to corporate EAs, PR executives and protocol advisors of widely varied nationalities, cultures and backgrounds.  Drawing on his years of experience as Princess Diana’s chief of staff and now as a communications consultant, he combines fascinating personal anecdotes with up-to-date practical tools and tips, so that delegates are entertained as they learn.  Patrick’s great strength is his ability to share knowledge and wisdom with a light touch.  He speaks from deep first-hand experience, combining authenticity and good humour in an easy style that I have seen captivate audiences on four continents.  Highly recommended.

  • Kathie Truitt - VP Truitt, Inc. Special Events Manager

    Patrick Jephson is by far the most intriguing and versatile speaker I’ve ever booked. As that rare individual who has not only been the writer of the front page news, but also the subject of the front-page news, his finesse in being able to manage a crisis in the midst of an international media storm is legendary. I have watched him charm and entertain groups with his fascinating stories of the years spent as Princess Diana’s Chief of Staff and then completely change his demeanor while discussing world-stage issues with large corporations and heads of state. For anyone needing to manage or repair their reputation during or after a crisis, learn international protocol issues, know how to operate on the world stage or simply just wants a speaker that will leave the audience wanting more, then I highly recommend Patrick Jephson for your next event.

  • Celia Seigerman-Levit - Director of Risk Management Yeshiva University, New York

    I recently attended an event where Patrick Jephson was the featured speaker. From the get-go he had our group thoroughly engaged with a presentation that was both entertaining and informative. Having been introduced to many presenters and coaches during my career, I was very pleasantly surprised. In fact, it was a privilege to listen to him. Since attending his presentation, I have incorporated many of the techniques that Patrick imparted to us.  I can’t recommend him highly enough to anyone looking to book captivating speakers.

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