Meghan Markle and Prince Harry fuel speculation they could move to Africa after Earth Day Instagram post

Rebecca Speare-Cole

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have fuelled speculation they will move to Africa after posting a series of photographs taken by Harry on Instagram for Earth Day.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly planning to move to the continent for two to three years as part of a major international role, following the birth of their first child.

Advisors to their Royal Highnesses are said to be working on the bespoke role for the pair combining Commonwealth and charity work as well as promoting the UK, The Sunday Times reports.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted the photographs on Monday, including several taken in Africa, which were seen by many as a possible hint towards their future plans.

Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Guyana’s sprawling forests featured in the post which was accompanied by a long caption detailing each photograph.

The post reads: “Today is #earthday – an opportunity to learn about, celebrate and continue to safeguard our planet, our home.”

The leading image shows the pair hand in hand walking between Redwood trees in Rotorua, New Zealand, which have declined from 170 species to just a handful since the early 1900's.

The final photo taken in Malawi shows one of the 500 elephants which were relocated by African Parks Network within the country, “to reduce the pressure on human wildlife conflict and create more dispersed tourism.”

A picture of a rhino, described in the caption as “Africa’s unicorn” showed the animal resting its head on a fallen tree trunk.

The Royal Highnesses wrote: “These magnificent animals have survived ice ages and giant crocodiles, amongst other things!

“They have adapted to earth’s changing climate continually for over 30 million years. Yet here we are in 2019 where their biggest threat is us.”

The post on the Sussex Royal account received more than half a million likes within 17 hours and almost 4,000 comments.

Plans to move

Sir David Manning, the former British ambassador to the US and Lord Geidt, the Queen’s former private secretary are reportedly amongst the advisors who have drawn up the plans.

However, reports also suggest that a final decision on exactly where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be based is unlikely until 2020.

The Sunday Times quotes a palace insider as saying the role would last for two or three years, adding: “Discussions are at an early stage, but the plan is to find a new way of using their soft power abilities, most likely in Africa."

“There are discussions in palace circles about: how do we harness Harry and Meghan? How do you harness this phenomenon that has emerged? You make it productive,” a second source told the newspaper.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave Windsor Castle after their wedding (WPA ROTA)

Prince Harry has close ties to several African countries, visiting the continent since his teens and spending a gap year in Lesotho, which he once described as a "second home".

Open talks will reportedly be held between the Government and palace officials about how to pay for the international role and the security needed during their stay.

The news comes amid reports of a rift between the Sussexes and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in recent months, although officials have insisted there has been no falling out.

A spokesman for the royal family told the Standard: "Any future plans for The Duke and Duchess are speculative at his stage. No decisions have been taken about future roles."