LONDON (AP) _ Queen Elizabeth II’s press secretary, Michael Shea, said he will resign in June to become head of public affairs for the British conglomerate Hanson Trust.
Shea, 48, who has been press secretary since April 1978, told the queen last week of his intention to resign, and the queen was ″very sad″ that he was leaving, a palace statement said Tuesday.
He will be replaced by Robin Janvrin, 40, deputy head of personnel at the Foreign Office, the statement said.
Asked by a television reporter if he had been fired, Shea said, ″That’s ridiculous.″
He told The Associated Press: ″I have held the post twice as long as any other press secretary, and I have had an offer that I cannot refuse.″
Shea, a former diplomat who writes detective stories in his spare time, said he will become head of public affairs for Hanson Trust, an industrial services and food conglomerate.
As the queen’s press secretary, Shea headed a staff of six, received the equivalent of $46,000 a year and use of a house owned by the crown in London’s Pimlico district.
During his nine years at the palace, Shea often had a rough ride with a press eager for every scrap of news about the nation’s most glamorous family.
Despite his clashes with the press, Shea said he was leaving the royal service with ″much regret.″