Whew! It’s been a whirlwind year for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Just shy of the royal couple’s one-year wedding anniversary, they’re poised to welcome their first child any day. And while they recently moved from Kensington Palace to Windsor’s Frogmore Cottage, a much bigger move might be in their near future — rumor has it the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are headed to Africa after the royal baby is born. Although these sorts of reports often turn out to be idle gossip, Buckingham Palace has reportedly issued a vague (but perhaps telling) statement on the matter.
Per The Sunday Times, one of Britain’s most trusted newspapers, Harry’s advisers have been working with Buckingham Palace to develop a “bespoke” role for Harry and Meghan in — you guessed it — Africa. This role would “combine some work on behalf of the Commonwealth along with charity work and a role promoting Britain.” Although the Times notes that the discussions are still in an early phase of development, the plan reportedly centers around Harry and Meghan’s global star power and, particularly, their appeal with the youth of the Commonwealth. So, what does the Palace have to say about all of this? “Any future plans for the Duke and Duchess are speculative at this stage. No decisions have been taken about future roles. The Duke will continue to fulfill his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador,” the palace said in a statement released by Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer.
Buckingham Palace: “Any future plans for The Duke and Duchess are speculative at this stage. No decisions have been taken about future roles.
“The Duke will continue to fulfil his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.”
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) April 21, 2019
Hmm, that statement is just vague-yet-non-argumentative-enough to make one believe that the Africa rumors might actually have merit. Palmer seems to consider it an affirmation too, nodding to a possible additional motive behind the move. “Buckingham Palace is not denying a report that officials have discussed sending Harry and Meghan to Africa as a way of capitalizing on their appeal to young people in the Commonwealth,” he tweeted, adding, “and of putting further distance between them and the Cambridges.”
Sadly, the narrative of a rift between Harry and his brother, Prince William, seems to be taking hold. A friend of Harry and William allegedly confirmed as much to the Times, saying, “In some ways it would suit William to get his brother out of the country for a few years and Meghan as far away as possible.” Another source claims that it isn’t just William who might want his brother out of the picture for a bit. “[The royal family is] worried that Harry and Meghan are going to establish a totally separate enterprise that nobody can get under control,” the source said, continuing, “There are discussions in palace circles about how do we harness Harry and Meghan and this tremendous global attention they get. How do we draw them back, because laying down the law and ticking them off doesn’t work at all.”
On a more positive note, Africa is a special place for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. In November 2017, when the royal couple announced their engagement, Harry spoke fondly of the romantic vacation they took to Botswana earlier that year. “We camped out with each other, under the stars,” he revealed in a TV interview (per Harper’s Bazaar). “She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other.”
We’d say that worked out in their favor, so maybe a move to Africa will be just as magical for the royal couple.