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Palace officials considered a proposal to make Prince Harry the Governor-General of Australia, according to a British newspaper report.
The Sunday Times wrote that the royals had been looking at long-term plans for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after their baby – due any day – is born.
"There have been various ideas floated for them to take on a job abroad, such as governor-general of Australia or Canada," the newspaper reported a "close confidant of the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex" had confided.
Instead the palace is now considering a plan to give Harry and Meghan a "major international job… probably in Africa that will combine some work on behalf of the Commonwealth along with charity work and a role promoting Britain".
The newspaper said the move would also give the couple a chance to "enjoy a break from the divisions that have driven the royal household in recent months".
British papers have recently been tiptoeing around rumours of a split between Harry and William.
The Sussexes recently set up a separate royal household and moved out of the Kensington Palace grounds to their new home at Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The formal separation came amid reports of "growing personal differences of approach" between the couples.
While some tabloids have talked up a supposed personality clash between Kate and Meghan, others have hinted at a bigger scandal that has alienated the princes.
"The wives don't get on [and] the brothers have fallen out," the Sunday Times quoted "someone who knows both princes" saying.
The newspaper said the plan for the Sussexes to take up an overseas role could be interpreted as a plan to "get them out of the way" so the "rock star" couple don't overshadow the king-to-be.
"Making Harry governor-general of Australia was discussed and dismissed," it reported. "The problems were obvious… you effectively set them up as king and queen of a whole separate country.
"And 24-hour media means that Australia is not as far away as it used to be."
So instead officials came up with the "soft power envoy" idea. Harry has longstanding interests in Africa, which he calls his second home, the couple fell in love on a trip to Botswana and reportedly honeymooned in east Africa.
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