Is Prince Harry already planning to leave Meghan Markle and return home to the UK? That's what one tabloid has "reported" this week. Gossip Cop can set the record straight.

According to this week's New Idea, Harry is "distraught" about not being in Britain with his family amid the coronavirus pandemic. He and his wife, as has been widely reported, are currently living in Los Angeles. "If he could turn back time and resume the life he and Meghan left behind, he would do that tomorrow morning without hesitation," a so-called "royal insider" tells the tabloid. His father Prince Charles' positive diagnosis allegedly left Prince Harry with feelings of "regret and guilt" over his absence. Says the source, "He's been climbing the walls and pacing around constantly, brainstorming ways he can get back to England and help."

But, the suspicious tipsters says, the Duke of Sussex working out an "exit plan," and even has a new "bachelor pad" nailed down back in the UK. The tabloid purports to have seen "exclusive property photos" and "plans" for an estate in the Cotswolds. "These past few weeks have brought it home to Harry that he needs a backup plan, in case things don't work out in America with Meghan and he needs to reinvent himself on his own," says the insider, suggesting that the relative privacy of the location and its proximity to his family are important draws for him. "The main attraction here," the shady source finishes, "is that he now has somewhere to fall back on if he decides to give up on this highly stressful new life he's dealing with in America."

Gossip Cop finds absolutely no truth to this report. First of all, while the news of his father's diagnosis was undoubtedly stressful for Prince Harry, Charles recovered and left isolation a month ago, while his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles remained in isolation until April 8. So "getting back to England" to "help" his father out is kind of irrelevant at this point.

The article also changes its story more than once, first suggesting that Harry wants to return to be close to his family, then says the Cotswolds mansion would be for "in case things don't work out in America with Meghan." Good grief. Is the tabloid really suggesting that Prince Harry is already planning on divorcing his wife and leaving his infant son Archie for a "bachelor pad" in the English countryside?

Furthermore, it's been reported that Harry and Markle are currently shopping for a home in Los Angeles. It seems like the former Duke of Sussex is planning on putting down roots in the US. We should also note that the supposed "royal insider's" line about Harry giving up the "highly stressful new life he's dealing with in America." Gossip Cop would like to remind New Idea that the whole reason Prince Harry and Markle moved away from the UK in the first place was to leave behind the highly stressful lives they had there. While it's entirely possible that the ex-royals are building that estate in the Cotswolds, the idea that it's some "escape" plan for Prince Harry is clearly nonsense.

Like all the other tabloids in the English-speaking world, New Idea seems to take a vicious pleasure in making up stories about Prince Harry, and even more so about Meghan Markle. Earlier this month, Gossip Cop busted the magazine for falsely claiming that Markle was planning a "Hollywood takeover" by enlisting Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise to help get her career back on track.

Back in February, the outlet reported that the couple were getting a divorce. That one, you will be shocked to hear, wasn't true either. Most outrageously, in the same month Gossip Cop debunked a New Idea story alleging that Archie had been missing for four days. That story was clearly just a bitter reaction to the fact that paparazzi had been unable to get photos of Prince Harry and Markle's son because they had been focusing on maintaining their privacy.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.

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