Prince Harry’s Friend Dame Jane Goodall Reveals He Wanted to Raise Son Archie in Africa

Instead, of course, the family ultimately settled down in California.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Harry has long had an emotional connection to the continent of Africa, and, according to renowned primatologist and anthropologist (and Harry’s friend) Dame Jane Goodall, if the prince had it his way, he would have raised son Archie in Africa.

Before moving to Montecito, California from the U.K.—where Harry currently resides with wife Meghan Markle and their two children, Archie and Lilibet—the Duke of Sussex had dreams of moving to Africa, The Daily Mail’s Richard Eden reports, per Tatler.

“He wanted to bring Archie up in Africa, running barefoot with African children,” Goodall reportedly said.

Archie was born in the U.K. on May 6, 2019; by the end of that year the family of three had relocated to Canada and then, in early 2020, the U.S., where they remain. Lilibet was born in the U.S. on June 4, 2021.

Tatler reports that Harry has visited Africa a number of times over the years, and, in the early days of the relationship between Harry and Meghan in 2016, the couple visited the continent together for the first time, just three weeks after their first date.

“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana, and we camped out with each other under the stars,” he later revealed, per the outlet.

He also spent time in Mozambique with his ex-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, who is from Zimbabwe.

Harry and Meghan (with four-month-old Archie in tow) visited Africa in an official capacity in 2019, undertaking a royal tour that saw stops in South Africa, Malawi, Angola, and Botswana. Harry also cofounded the charity Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006, established to help children in Africa affected by poverty, inequality, HIV/AIDS, and, more recently, COVID-19.

While fate ultimately took them to California, according to Tatler, “in 2019, reports suggested that Palace aides had drawn up plans to give the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a major international job that could have seen them moving abroad.” Africa was always rumored to be on the shortlist of places the couple wanted to go. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.