The royal uncle is expected to skip the ceremony and head to Africa instead, PEOPLE has learned
Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty;HRH The Duchess of Cambridge/Getty

Prince Harry may be widely tipped as a possible godfather to his niece Princess Charlotte, but he won t be in attendance when the special ceremony takes place on July 5, PEOPLE has learned.

Harry – who was on a royal tour Down Under for Charlotte’s May 2 birth – is likely to be in Africa, at the beginning of his three-month visit to the continent as he pursues conservation work there following his upcoming departure from the army.

While his exit date has not been confirmed, the 30-year-old prince is expected to have said his goodbyes from military life by the end of the month and, in the short term, will immerse himself in helping the cause of wildlife in Africa and the ongoing battle against the illegal trade in animal parts.

Prince William and Princess Kate have said that they will welcome family and friends to St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Queen’s Sandringham estate for the private christening of their daughter. The church, where the late Princess Diana was also christened, is only a couple of miles from their country home, Anmer Hall.

Their son Prince George, who turns 2 in July, was christened in London in October 2013 at the Chapel Royal, St. James s Palace.

Harry, who announced earlier this year that he was leaving the army after a decade of service, explained last month that he is eager to join one of South Africa’s top veterinarians to learn more about the cause that is close to his heart.

“For me, it’s three months of hard grafting, working with animals,” he told British newspapers The Sun and The Sunday Times. “To actually get the chance to embed myself with the top vet in southern Africa, travel with him for three weeks and every job he gets called up to do. That’s like my dream.”

It s also been reported that he will head to Namibia to help efforts to save the black rhino.

The palace would not comment on the details of his upcoming plans.

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