The Queen reportedly wanted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to move to South Africa

Here's what we know...

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Here's what we know...

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal family roles this year after months of discussions.

The Sussex couple lost their HRH titles and their Sussex Royal brand and relocated to California to prioritise their family of three and mental health over their former roles.

This week, it emerged that the Queen reportedly originally hoped the couple would move to South Africa instead of America.

According to Robert Lacey's upcoming book, Battle of Brothers, the Queen didn't want Harry and Meghan to give up their royal duties, but she hoped they would get the freedom and space they needed. This would have made South Africa a good option to spend a few years as a young family.

'[The Queen] had heard and read much of Harry and Meghan's wish to live an "ordinary' existence,"' reads an excerpt of the upcoming book, via The Daily Mail. '

Robert Lacey went on to talk about how the Queen and Prince Philip had spent some time in Malta between 1949 and 1951, enjoying a taste of normal life before duties kicked in, and that the monarch wanted Harry and Meghan to experience their own 'Malta moment'.

'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,' the book continues.

'Modern South Africa, with its black-majority rule, could be just the spot — and the couple themselves seemed interested by the notion. 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.'

It is not known why the couple opted against a move to South Africa in the end and set their sights on California.

Battle of Brothers is set for release on 15 October.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.