Hear ye, hear ye: Buckingham Palace just broke its silence on the swirling rumors that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are moving to Africa.
If you’re all like “Whoa, back up! I’ve just started my second cup of coffee!” then here’s the update: British newspaper The Sunday Times broke a massive story over the weekend that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (set to give birth any day now) are contemplating a move to Africa that would further their work with the queen’s Commonwealth Trust over the next couple years.
The reports said Harry and Meghan’s plan to temporarily relocate first surfaced on Easter. The Sunday Times quoted a source as saying that courtiers had “drawn up plans” to send the royal “rock stars” abroad “for two to three years,” combining their jobs as Commonwealth ambassadors with charity work and a role promoting Britain. (And we can’t help but chuckle at picturing Meghan and Harry on a tour bus like the “royal rock stars” they are.) Because of differing reports, the Sussexes’ move is stated as spanning a few months to several years.
For example, according to a follow-up story from The Daily Mail, the move would reportedly take place in 2020 and would see the Sussexes in Africa for only “a few months.” Royal correspondent Rebecca English tweeted: “Harry & Meghan plan a secondment to Africa. Couple hope to spend ‘a few months’ working on the ground with their young family. Sources deny this is due to any rift, but part of their long terms plans.”
A secondment means a sabbatical where an employee goes to work in a different area from where they already live. So, are Harry and Meghan really going to pack their bags for Africa next year?
Well, officials at Buckingham just broke their silence and issued a statement on the matter, in which they all but confirmed a plan like this was or is in the works.
“Any future plans for The Duke and Duchess are speculative at this stage,” the statement from BP read, according to royal reporter Richard Palmer. “No decisions have been taken about future roles. The Duke will continue to fulfil[l] his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.”
While The Sunday Times suggested Markle and Prince Harry’s move is due to their growing fame and popularity, it seems The Daily Mail refutes this stance and claims the move would be a choice made by the Sussexes and with approval from the queen in order to see their work with the Commonwealth Trust (as well as humanitarian and environmental conservation concerns that they hold near and dear) continued.
“[The royals] sent [Harry and Meghan] down to Frogmore to try to keep them out of the limelight for a bit. This is doomed to fail,” one of the The Sunday Times sources claimed. “They are worried that Harry and Meghan are going to establish a totally separate enterprise that nobody can get under control.”
“There are discussions in palace circles about how do we harness Harry and Meghan and this tremendous global attention they get,” the source continued. “How do we draw them back, because laying down the law and ticking them off doesn’t work at all.”
Now, take this with a grain of salt because these sources remain unnamed. But if Buckingham isn’t flat out denying the reports, you can bet your bottom dollar (er, pound) it’s been discussed as an actual possibility.
Whatever the case, we’re just here for the Baby Sussex updates… (*Checks phone ten more times*)