Prince Harry had always in the past referred to Africa as his “second home,” and he even escaped there with Prince Charles and Prince William after the traumatic death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
The 36-year-old spent his 2004 gap year in Lesotho and later founded his charity, Sentebale, with the country’s Prince Seeiso, and Harry and Meghan Markle fell in love during a trip to Botswana in 2016.
Given the understanding that her grandson wanted more freedom, Queen Elizabeth II was set to grant Harry his wish by moving him and Markle to South Africa.
The new book, Battle of Brothers by Robert Lacey, explains the situation, which would have had the Sussexes have more freedom and space but not completely have them give up their duties as senior royals. Markle and Harry famously stepped away from their posts in search of a more normal life for themselves and their son, Archie.
"The Queen had heard and read much of Harry and Meghan's wish to live an 'ordinary' existence," an excerpt from the book reads. It's currently being previewed in the Daily Mail and is set to be released on October 20. Queen Elizabeth imagined the couple heading to the Commonwealth country of South Africa, where they could experience a "Malta moment." Between 1949 and 1951, Elizabeth spent time in Malta with Prince Philip, who was a naval officer at the time. She took several trips to be with him and the experience gave her a look at life away from the palace.
"In Malta, Elizabeth had tasted 'normal' life as a young naval officer's wife, not a king's daughter. It had set her up well to come back home and do her duty," Lacey wrote.
He continued to outline a few other reasons that South Africa would be the perfect place.
"Modern South Africa, with its black-majority rule, could be just the spot — and the couple themselves seemed interested by the notion," he added. "Their relationship had taken flower in Africa after all, so maybe it, or somewhere else in the Commonwealth, might provide their next step. Johannesburg could be their Malta."
Lacey didn't explain why the plan fell through, but the Duke and Duchess Of Sussex clearly had another agenda — they wanted to be void of royal duties and live life in the spotlight, which a move to California has afforded them.
These days, the pair are doing just fine — they signed a mega-million dollar deal with Netflix and live in a luxurious Santa Barbara pad.