Prince Harry Talks Reincarnation — and What Animal He Wants to Come Back As

The Duke of Sussex wrote in Spare about how the wild animal played a role in his 2016 trip to Botswana with Meghan Markle

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace
Prince Harry. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry's chat with Stephen Colbert included his thoughts on life after death.

The Duke of Sussex, 38, answered the Colbert Questionert, a signature segment of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which aired Tuesday. Prince Harry appeared on the talk show to discuss his memoir Spare on Jan. 10, the day of the book's global release.

"What do you think happens when we die?" Colbert asked his guest as part of the 15-question interview. "I think we become animals," Prince Harry replied in a lighthearted tone, with a laugh.

"No, I like that. Like we reincarnate? Do you have an animal you'd like to come back as?" Colbert posed. Without missing a beat, Harry said, "Probably an elephant."

Animals came up elsewhere during the segment when the Duke of Sussex named snakes the "scariest" animal.

"I don't like sharks, but at least they're contained to the ocean. Snakes can get anywhere," Harry explained, jokingly looking behind Colbert's desk for any slithering serpents.

Wildlife played a role in one romantic story Prince Harry told in Spare. He wrote about his third date with his wife Meghan Markle in 2016, when she joined him for a camping trip to Botswana, and what it was like to hear wild animals just outside their tent as they snuggled up to sleep on the first night.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry. Mike Coppola/Getty; Getty

"The tent was very small, and very Spartan. If she'd been expecting some glamping trip, she was now fully divested of that fantasy," Harry wrote of the basic accommodations. "We stared at the roof, listening, talking, watching moon shadows flutter across the nylon. Then, a loud munching sound. Meg bolted upright. What's that?"

"Elephant, I said. Just one, from what I could tell. Just outside. Eating peacefully from the shrubs around us. She won't hurt us," he wrote.

Harry & Meghan Netflix Documentary

"She won't?" Harry quoted Meghan as saying. "Soon after, the tent shook from a loud roar. Lions."

"Are we going to be OK?" he said she asked, to which he replied, "Yes, don't worry."

"She lay down, put her head on my chest. Trust me, I told her. I'll keep you safe," he said.

Harry & Meghan Netflix Documentary

Prince Harry's surprise Colbert Questionert segment aired the night before a spokesperson for the Archewell Foundation confirmed to PEOPLE that "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage." Harry and Meghan lived in the Windsor home from 2019 to 2020 as newlyweds and new parents.

The Duke of Sussex "fully covered" the cost of the property's extensive renovations, said to be around $3 million. It remains unclear if the renovations will be reimbursed now that Harry and Meghan have been requested to leave Frogmore Cottage.

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The statement from the Archewell Foundation follows a Tuesday report from The Sun that King Charles III plans to move his brother Prince Andrew to the Windsor residence. The second son of Queen Elizabeth, who stepped back from public duties over his ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, currently resides at the much larger Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a Summer Party at the British Ambassador's residence; Frogmore Cottage
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry; Frogmore Cottage. Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage; Shutterstock

After Harry and Meghan moved to California, his cousin (and Prince Andrew's daughter) Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, moved into Frogmore Cottage before the birth of their first child in February 2021. A source said at the time, "Frogmore Cottage continues to be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's residence in the U.K., and they are delighted to be able to open up their home to Princess Eugenie and Jack as they start their own family."

When Prince Harry and Meghan returned to the U.K. last year for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee festivities, they stayed at Frogmore Cottage and celebrated their daughter Lilibet Diana's first birthday with a backyard party.

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