Meghan Markle and Prince Harry secure Spotify podcast deal
Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping back as senior working royals in January, before carrying out their last royal engagement on March 9 during the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. The Finding Freedom biography hinted they stayed in the UK for another three days before flying to Canada on March 12 – although this rapid exit hasn’t been confirmed. If accurate, however, it would mean Harry has been out of the UK for nine months – his longest stretch abroad since his globe-trotting gap year.
Harry initially planned to return to the UK back in June for the Queen’s birthday parade Trooping the Colour.
However, this did not go ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Harry and Meghan were also reported to be returning to Britain for the New Year so Meghan could self isolate in time for the start of her court case against the Mail on Sunday.
However, that has now been put back until next autumn for a confidential reason.
Royal poll: Will Prince Harry return to the UK?
Harry’s return to British soil may not be until next summer when he is expected to attend the unveiling of a statue to his mother Princess Diana, along with Prince William.
The memorial will be installed in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in time for the opening on July 1.
The couple is expected to also review their year in the US with the Queen next March but their return is looking more unlikely after Princess Eugenie and her husband were recently spotted moving into their marital home Frogmore Cottage for a brief spell.
The longest time Harry has spent time away from Britain in the past was during his gap year abroad in Australia and Africa, when he was away from September 23, 2003, to June 10, 2004.
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He flew out to Australia and worked on a sheep farm in Southern Queensland for three months.
Harry’s then spokeswoman, Colleen Harris, said: “He will be working as a jackaroo, mustering cattle on horseback and will be paid the going rate.
“Hopefully [the media] will leave him alone so he can get on with it and learn about farming and agriculture here in Australia, which he is very keen to do.”
Prince Harry also spent long periods away during his time in the army, where he did two tours of Afghanistan.
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Royal poll: Harry previously spent time away from the UK during his gap year to Australia
Royal Poll: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to the UK
During the first tour, he spent ten weeks in Helmand Province with the Ministry of Defence confirming his active service on February 28, 2008.
A Clarence House statement at the time said: “Prince Harry is very proud to serve his country on operations alongside his fellow soldiers and to do the job he has been trained for.”
The Sussexes have settled into a new life in Montecito in California after buying an £11 million house.
Royal expert Penny Junor said the couple’s new lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify will be a huge help with supporting their new lifestyle, which suggested they are not planning to return to Britain anytime soon.
Royal Poll: Harry also spent long periods serving in the army
Ms Junor said: “They’re living in an extremely expensive house with a lot of very expensive running costs and a very extravagant lifestyle.
“The big question when they moved was how were they going to support themselves?
“If this is a way of doing that – it’s unusual for members of the royal family but so is this whole situation – my feeling is, slightly, good luck to them.
“Don’t judge them until it’s all gone pear-shaped.”
Royal poll: Meghan and Harry have settled into their new US life
Harry has appeared to be settled in his new role in the US and has spoken many times in support of his charity work and to promote climate action this year.
A trailer on Spotify’s website features the Duke and Duchess promoting their new podcast deal, where Harry talks about change being “really possible”.
He said: “That’s what this project is all about, to bring forward different perspectives and voices that perhaps you haven’t heard before and find our common ground.
“When that happens, change really is possible.”