With Meghan Markle due to give birth any day, a new report says the British royal family is scrambling to try to contain her popularity amid worries she could become “bigger than [Princess] Diana.”
And so they’ve determined to keep her and Prince Harry as far away as possible from the media and also from Prince William, after a split between the brothers and spats involving their wives.“There have been various ideas floated for them to take on a job abroad, such as governor-general of Australia or Canada, wherever,” a palace source told The Sunday Times of London.
But sending the couple to Canada was “mooted, then booted” given that Meghan spent seven years there and would be close to the US and tabloid coverage, according to the story.
Shipping Harry to Australia was also nixed, it said.
“The trouble is that you effectively set them up as king and queen of a whole separate country,” according to one source.
“And 24-hour media means that Australia is not as far away as it used to be.”
Also under consideration is Africa, where Harry set up a charity in 2006 in Botswana — where he and Meghan fell in love on a trip — and which he refers to as his “second home.”Either way, the palace braintrust prefers for the couple to move abroad.
“In some ways it would suit William to get his brother out of the country for a few years and Meghan as far away as possible,” said one friend of the brothers.
But going off is not necessarily what Harry and Meghan want.
Indeed, they see their move from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor estate as much an exile as an escape, the paper reported.
“Meghan and Harry feel they have been cut adrift,” one ally said.
“They sent them down to Frogmore to try to keep them out of the limelight for a bit. This is doomed to fail. They are worried that Harry and Meghan are going to establish a totally separate enterprise that nobody can get under control.
“There are discussions in palace circles about how do we harness Harry and Meghan and this tremendous global attention they get. How do we draw them back, because laying down the law and ticking them off doesn’t work at all,” the ally said.
Senior royal insiders say that whatever new role the couple might take on would have to be broad enough to appeal to both Harry and Meghan while capitalizing on their “rock star” status in a way that is attractive to the host country.
Meanwhile, William — who has warmed up to taking over as king — has been told by his private secretary, Simon Case, that a period of separation between the two brothers would help them to define themselves better and also improve relations between them, said the report.
“It’s a bit sad really,” said someone who knows both princes. “The wives don’t get on. The brothers have fallen out.”
Whatever public support there might be for Harry and Meghan, “People are telling William, ‘Don’t worry. Your influence will grow and Harry’s will fade,’ ” a source said. “This is peak Harry.”