Beyond that, little else is clear. I get the impression this plan is in an embryonic stage, but it has been discussed with Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales. That figures because Prince Charles provides most of the money for the new Sussex Household (the Duchy of Cornwall pays for the Heir to the Throne and his offspring).
The Queen is also aware of the conversations. So here is where I think we are on this. Harry and Meghan are looking for a new role for themselves sometime after their baby is born (he or she is due any day).
They are both leaders of the organisation which connects and supports young leaders in the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (Harry is President, Meghan Vice-President). The Sussex plan is looking at which Commonwealth country Harry and Meghan might go to in order capitalise on their global celebrity, their interest in young people and their desire to bring attention and change to the causes closest to their hearts. That country is most likely to be in Africa. You might call it a royal/ambassadorial/charity/good causes-led role. It’s been referred to in royal circles both as a ‘secondment’ and as an ‘extended stay’ – so not the two to three years as has been suggested, more like 2 to 3 months. But the plan is some considerable way off from being finalised – in fact, it has barely got off the ground.
So, no firm decisions have been made and it’s entirely possible the plan will change. Either way, it’s a new direction for these two senior members of the Royal Family.
Some of the early work is being done by Sir David Manning, the former British Ambassador to the USA, who has been a foreign affairs advisor to both Princes William and Harry in recent years.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the former Private Secretary to William, Kate and Harry, has also been involved in the early discussions. Prince William is aware of his brother’s plan, but he has little involvement in Harry’s work since the Sussexes created their own Household and moved out of Kensington Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now living at their new residence at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
All of the chatter and gossip that this plan is response to a claimed ‘rift’ between William and Harry, is not true.
The brothers might not be best of friends at the moment, and their arrival separately at the Easter Service in Windsor yesterday allowed the rift speculation to increase, but the Africa plan is not connected to it.