Will Harry and Meghan move to South Africa?
Cape Town - It seems Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are considering making South Africa their home for four months of the year.
South Africa is one of the African countries on the couple's shortlist of destinations they're considering moving to with their baby, according to The Sun
Botswana and Lesotho are also on the list. The recommendations are made in a highly confidential document that lays out where Harry (34) and Meghan (37) plan to settle after the birth of their first child.
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The Sun further reports that Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth (93) and father, Prince Charles (70), support the Africa plan. But it won't be cheap, not even for the royals.
The royal household apparently are concerned about the cost of a major move to Africa. It will involve an enormous security bill because eight full-time members of the police force would have to accompany Harry and Meghan.
"Harry and Meghan are excited about the plans, even though the move is planned only for next year or 2021," a source close to the couple said.
"The idea is they'll spend between three and four months every year based in an African country, where they'd work and then use it as a base for travel. South Africa and Botswana are two countries on the shortlist that are considered the most likely."
The source said the plans have already been shared with a small group of people. The couple are considering what the next few years of their lives will look like and are doing long-term planning.
"They have a vision of being ambassadors for the UK, representatives of the Commonwealth and pursuing the works and good causes they want to focus on.
"They like the idea of being able to put roots down in a country, have a home base and really get involved and engaged in the community and country. Africa is an obvious starting point for Harry because of his affinity for the continent.”
Concerns have already been raised in royal circles as to who’d foot the bill but it’s likely the government would pay the security costs.
"Taxpayers will likely have to fund this role to the tune of many millions of pounds a year,” The Timesreported.
"But the argument will be that the costs are worth it because this will be a good thing for Brand Britain, which we need at the moment,” a source added.
Harry’s brother, Prince William (36), apparently supports the plans now that Harry and Meghan have moved from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. Another royal source said the siblings haven’t been seeing eye to eye about their future and the tension between their wives.
“But they’re in a better place than they’ve been over the past few months because they can just be brothers and not colleagues. They can make their own decisions now.”
It would suit William if Harry were to go abroad for a few years and for Meghan to be as far away as possible, according to a friend of the brothers.
Harry and Meghan already have roots in Africa, especially in Botswana – a country that played a major role in their romance.
Harry visited Botswana for the first time in 1997 when he went on safari shortly after the death of his mother, Princess Diana. He was 13 years old at the time and wanted to escape the heartache. In 2016 he took Meghan camping there for their third date.
The following year they returned for three weeks and it’s where Harry, who’s part of Rhino Conservation Botswana, got the diamond for Meghan’s engagement ring.
Harry also has close ties with Lesotho, which he’s called his second home since he spent a gap year there in 2004.
In 2006 he founded the charity organisation Sentebale (“don’t forget me”), which supports children and young people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
Harry has been in South Africa on a number of occasions and has visited Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and the Kruger National Park. In 2017 shortly before they got engaged he took Meghan on safari in South Africa.