Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moving to Africa?
Duke and Duchess of Sussex to spend time away from UK next year, amid rumours of a royal rift
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are considering a temporary move abroad after the birth of their first child, amid high-level discussions as to what the couple should do to make best use of their global popularity and to quell rumours of a royal rift.
The Sunday Times’ Tim Shipman first reported that courtiers have drawn up plans to hand the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “a major international job” that would see them move abroad for two or three years.
Prince Harry’s advisers are working on a “bespoke” role for the royal “rock stars”, “probably in Africa, that will combine some work on behalf of the Commonwealth along with charity work and a role promoting Britain”, he writes.
The Daily Mail’s royal correspondent, Rebecca English, reports that the trip is currently in the “brainstorming stage”, but that rather than moving to Africa full-time, it’s more likely that Meghan and Harry will have a six month “secondment”, according to a source.
The Sun’s Dan Wootton says South Africa is “top of a shortlist of African nations” where they are expected to make their home for four months of the year “in a bombshell that has stunned royal watchers”.
However, ITV News’ royal editor Chris Ship suggests a shorter two-to-three month “extended stay”.
“You might call it a royal/ambassadorial/charity/good causes-led role” he says. “I get the impression this plan is in an embryonic stage, but it has been discussed with Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales. That figures because Prince Charles provides most of the money for the new Sussex Household.”
People says “Africa holds a special place in Harry’s heart, and he has focused much of his conservation work there”. He is president of African Parks and patron of the Rhino Conservation Botswana and “it has long been a go-to place for Harry, who has visited the continent since his teens and refers to it as ‘his second home’” says the magazine.
The plan is supposedly the work of former UK ambassador to the US Sir David Manning and Lord Geidt, the Queen’s former private secretary, and comes after suggestions Prince Harry could be made governor-general of Canada or Australia or a post-Brexit trade envoy were rejected.
The palace has remained tightlipped about any potential move, with a Buckingham Palace spokesperson telling CNN “any future plans for the Duke & Duchess are speculative at his stage. No decisions have been taken about future roles”.
If they do decide to leave the UK, The Daily Telegraph says “the move will be viewed as both symptom and cause of the recent formal split in the young royal household of Kensington Palace, with Prince William and Prince Harry working increasingly differently amid rumours of a rift”.
Growing concern of tension between the two brothers was not aided by their appearance at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, for the Easter service on Sunday, where the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex walked to the church seperately and stood apart while in public view.