The Queen Reportedly Wanted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Move to South Africa

It would have been their "Malta moment."

The queen doesn't always get her way. According to a new book, she wanted Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to move to South Africa, not Santa Barbara. Robert Lacey's Battle of Brothers 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. Meghan 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.

Queen Elizabeth Prince Harry Meghan Markle
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"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, including the fact that Harry and Meghan seemed receptive. Africa is a special place for the two of them.

"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 Harry and Meghan's real-life fairy tale took them, as royal watchers know, to Canada and California, not South Africa.

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