Prince William’s plan to move to US before Harry and Meghan relocated

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Harry and Meghan have not yet given any indication as to where they will be spending the festive period this year. Last year’s festive celebrations were limited given coronavirus restrictions at the time, and the travel ban that then-President Donald Trump had implemented. This year, however, the Queen is hosting all of the Royal Family at Sandringham for a big festive get-together, depending on what happens with the ongoing Omicron variant situation.

The Sussexes are yet to return to the UK as a couple since they gave up their royal titles and moved to LA last year.

Harry has returned to British shores on occasion though, for his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral, as well as for the unveiling of his mother Princess Diana’s statue in the grounds of Kensington Palace.

Royal expert Neil Sean told his YouTube channel that the couple’s exchanging of gifts with the rest of the Royal Family will be “very formal” this year.

He added: “But let’s just say whatever they do send each other over, it will be at a distance.”

Since the Sussexes upped sticks, Prince William has enjoyed more of the limelight than ever before.

He and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, have occupied centre stage — and recently shared an adorable new portrait of their family, which features on this year’s Christmas card.

However, there was reportedly a time when William too wished to move abroad. William has always been very protective of his and his family’s privacy, and various rules were put in place during his time as a student at the University of St Andrews to protect him.

According to a 2003 report in The Scotsman, this played a part in William’s alleged desire to cross the Atlantic upon graduating.

Reporter Louisa Pearson wrote at the time: “Having enjoyed a degree of privacy as a student at St Andrews, perhaps it’s not such a surprise that William has announced his intention to spend a few years living in the US after he finishes his degree.

“Work in a gallery or auction house, and the possibility of a postgraduate degree, have apparently been discussed.”

William enrolled at the Scottish university in 2001 after taking a gap year, during which he took part in Army training exercises in Belize, worked on a farm in the UK and spent 10 weeks teaching children in southern Chile.

He initially embarked on a degree in Art History, before later switching to Geography. 

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A courtier told The Scotsman in 2003: “William is determined to maintain a degree of anonymity and feels America offers him the best chance of that.”

Ms Pearson added it would have been an “unprecedented move”.

She continued: “But William seems determined to forge his own path — he rarely undertakes royal duties and signs his cheques ‘William Wales’.”

William certainly would not have been the first member of the Royal Family to struggle with the role.

King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in the Thirties when he was not allowed to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Princess Beatrice had also spent time living in New York.

Harry, too, has admitted his own battles, and has previously admitted media intrusion is something he has always struggled with.

William’s move never materialised, and William instead began to take on an increasing number of royal responsibilities.

He interned in land management at Chatsworth House, and in banking at HSBC, before deciding to follow a military career.

William assumed full-time royal duties in July 2017, with much of his work revolving around mental health, conservation and emergency workers.

A royal insider told Heatworld last month that the Cambridges will embark on a royal tour to the US early next year, and may well stop in California along the way.

The insider said: “They [Harry and Meghan] haven’t had a single royal visitor since moving to America, which they know is mainly because of COVID but now that travel restrictions between the US and UK have been lifted, they want that to change.

“Harry and Meghan feel very strongly about this and think it’s important that the Cambridges stay with them if they come over — it would seem odd if they didn’t.

“They’re certain that there would be no better way for them to put aside their differences than by spending quality time together in the California sunshine.”

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