After Meghan Markle gives birth, she, Prince Harry and Baby Sussex may not be able to settle for long into their new home at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor Castle.
That’s because, a bombshell report says, the royal family is looking to have the glamorous couple take up a new assignment that would send them abroad for several years, possibly to Africa.
Depending on who is talking, this assignment could come with the positive spin of the royal family wanting to “harness” Harry and Meghan’s global “rock-star” status to bring attention to important issues, according to the report in the Sunday Times in London. The job would combine their jobs as Commonwealth ambassadors with charity work and a role promoting Britain, the Daily Mail added.
But others have told the Sunday Times that the assignment is intended to push the newlyweds “out of the limelight” so they will stop overshadowing king-to-be Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton.
A friend of William and Harry told the Times: “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.”
William reportedly has been told by his private secretary, Simon Case, that a period of separation between the two brothers would help them to define their different roles and improve relations between them, the Sunday Times reported.
A source told the Sunday Times: “People are telling William, ‘Don’t worry. Your influence will grow and Harry’s will fade. This is peak Harry.'”
The report comes after months of rumors and reports about a falling-out between the two couples, either because the dynamic, American-born former TV actress was feuding with the more traditional British Kate, or because of a rift between William and Harry. The brothers became inseparable as they both grieved the tragic 1997 death of their mother, Princess Diana.
But now there supposedly are concerns among William and others in the royal family that Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, combined could be “bigger than Diana,” the Daily Beast reported.
“The wives don’t get on [and] the brothers have fallen out,” a source close to both brothers told the Sunday Times.
The report appears to put an official stamp on this falling-out narrative because Kensington Palace has not officially denied it, the Daily Beast suggested. Indeed, palace sources have told the Sunday Times that there have been “ideas floated for them to take a job abroad.”
To the Daily Beast, the report shows that “there no longer appears to be any attempt to hide” the falling-out. The Daily Beast also said it was hard not to notice that Meghan skipped the royal family’s Easter service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
It is possible that she physically wasn’t up to attending the service, given that she reportedly is about to give birth any day now. However, the relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William “looked decidedly frosty” as they walked separately into the service, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Anne and others, the Daily Beast said.
The Daily Mail puts a slightly less ominous spin on the news about Harry and Meghan’s possible foreign assignment. Yes, there have been tensions between the princes and their wives. But taking a foreign sabbatical is an idea that Harry has wanted to pursue for many years so that he can focus on issues around conservation, the environment and education.
Harry also has a longstanding interest in Africa, which he calls his “second home,” Page Six said. The couple reportedly fell in love on a trip to Botswana and honeymooned in east Africa.
This sabbatical also would involve far less time away from the U.K.: six months, not several years, according to the Daily Mail, citing its own palace sources. Planning for the sabbatical is in the “brainstorming’ stage,” the Daily Mail said. “There have been no formal discussions outside the palace walls, but one source described it as a ‘likely scenario.'”
Other scenarios reportedly discussed have included moving Harry and Meghan to Australia or Canada, where he could take up the post of governor-general, the Sunday Times reported. However, those roles were dismissed, sources said.
“The trouble is that you effectively set them up as king and queen of a whole separate country, and 24-hour media means that Australia is not as far away as it used to be,” a palace source told the Sunday Times.
Meghan might be an even bigger star in Canada because she would be returning to her old stomping grounds. She filmed her cable TV show “Suits” in Toronto. She moved there in 2011 and made friends with some of the city’s top socialites, including Jessica Mulroney, the daughter-in-law of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the BBC reported.
Even if it turns out that Harry and Meghan are not sent abroad, their move from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage, about 20 miles outside of London, also may have been an effort to get them out of the limelight, according to the Sunday Times story.
It has been previously reported that Harry and Meghan wanted to move to Windsor Castle to guard their privacy, but insiders told the Times that the royals wanted to get them out of Kensington Palace because of tensions between William and Kate, who also live there.
“Meghan and Harry feel they have been cut adrift,” a source close to the couple said.
The royals’ reported attempt at sidelining Harry and Meghan was a way to stop them from trying to establish “a totally separate enterprise that nobody can get under control,” the Sunday Times report said.
Of course, Harry and Meghan may be too big for the royal apparatus to control. For one thing, they have superstar celebrity friends, like George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey. Harry and Winfrey also have inked a deal to co-create and executive produce a series of documentaries for Apple on mental health.
About the overall efforts to control Meghan and Harry and to dim the spotlight on them, a source said, “This is doomed to fail.”
(c) 2019 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
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