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Prince Charles has been vocal about his intent to 'trim down' the monarchy when he becomes king (opens in new tab), but where do Prince Harry (opens in new tab) and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) fit into his plans?
- The fate of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's place in the monarchy (opens in new tab) is being called into question as Prince Charles' continues to plan cuts (opens in new tab) to create a smaller royal family
- Prince Harry's former police protection officer claims the Prince will return to the UK and be more involved when his father becomes king (opens in new tab)
- This royal news (opens in new tab) follows reports that Meghan Markle fears another UK visit (opens in new tab) will pull Harry back into the control of 'The Firm'.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dropped a bombshell when they quit as working royals in early 2020 (opens in new tab), perhaps not realising just how much of a media and family storm their decision would create.
They have since carved out a new life for themselves and their children, Archie and Lilibet (opens in new tab), in California after leaving the UK.
The move impacted the already growing rift between Harry and his older brother Prince William (opens in new tab), as well as the weakening relationship with his dad (opens in new tab), Prince Charles. The Sussex's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey (opens in new tab), in which the pair claimed they were both trapped within 'The Firm', succeeded in seemingly quashing all hopes of Harry ever returning to the UK and his now estranged family.
While at the moment it may look unlikely that Harry would ever come back to the UK, let alone work as a royal again, one man who knew a young Prince Harry has reignited hopes for a royal reunion.
Speaking on an upcoming episode of the Mirror's Pod Save the Queen podcast, Ken Wharfe, a former police protection officer who worked with Harry and William when they were boys, said he didn't believe Harry would see out his days in California.
He revealed that he thought Harry could return to his homeland for a new role - possibly without Meghan.
When asked if the pair would ever come back to the UK, Wharfe, who has written a new book called Diana: Remembering the Princess, said, "Personally I do and I base that on gut reaction really. I just cannot see them forever more living in California.
"It's clear to me that Harry is not quite a fish out of sea - I mean he is getting involved in charitable work and he has these attachments to Netflix and other companies but quite where they'll end up we don't know.
"But I just think his involvement with his military charities - quite how he runs that on the other side of the Atlantic, I don't know. But I just have this feeling that he could well be back in a new role, with or without Meghan - I honestly don't know.
"I do think he will be back in some form as part of his father's plan for trimming down the monarchy because within the next decade that is going to happen."
Prince Harry does not seem completely opposed to the idea of returning to the UK despite his public disagreements with members of his family and his legal battles with the Home Office over the provision of security protection for him and his children.
Harry has visited the UK twice this year, once to see the Queen (opens in new tab) on his way to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands in April and the other for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June (opens in new tab).
At the Invictus Games, in an interview with NBC's Today Show in America, he talked about where he saw himself living the future. He admitted that the US now feels like home to him but did not rule out a return to the UK in the future.
He explained, "Home for me now is, for the time being, it's in the States. And it really feels that way as well. We've been welcomed with open arms and we've got such a great community in Santa Barbara."
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