- At the end of last year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle retreated to Canada for a family vacation during the holidays.
- While the couple was staying Vancouver Island, Harry took great pains to conceal his identity when out and about.
- A local shopkeeper from the area told the Daily Mail that Harry tried to disguise his voice with a Canadian accent while in her store.
On Monday morning, Prince Harry will join his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, his father, Prince Charles, and his older brother, Prince William, for a summit in Sandringham to discuss the ramifications of his and Meghan Markle's decision to step down as working royals.
Meghan is expected to join the meeting by phone from the couple's vacation retreat in Vancouver Island, Canada. The Duchess of Sussex returned to the quiet area this week following the couple's bombshell announcement.
The Sussex family have been holed up in Canada since the holidays, where they enjoyed some downtime and an escape from the public eye before their surprise announcement. During the trip, Harry apparently took great pains to maintain their privacy, even going so far as to disguise his face and his voice in public to avoid drawing attention.
Chris Stephen, a shopkeeper at a home store called Lilaberry in Sidney, British Columbia, told the Daily Mail about a run-in she had with Prince Harry last month when the royal stopped in to shop for Christmas decorations.
Stephen explained that Harry put on a fake, Canadian accent and tried to keep his face covered to disguise himself. Unfortunately for Harry, all his "disguise" did was get him mistaken for another member of the royal family—his uncle, Prince Andrew.
"I gave them a demo of this scarf and as I took it off he said, 'is that real fur?' And I said, 'no, it's not real, I wouldn't be carrying real fur,'' she said, recounting her experience with Harry, who was shopping with another man at the time.
At this point, Stephen says she realized she was in the presence of royalty...even if she couldn't exactly remember the name of the royal in question.
"I'm looking in these lovely blue eyes with the ginger eyebrows," she said. "That's when I said 'has anyone ever told you you look like'—and I was thinking of him, but it came out as Prince Andrew."
When Stephen identified Harry as royal (albeit the wrong royal), his security guard asked her if they could move their conversation to a backroom for privacy. Once they were in private, Harry revealed himself—and teased Stephen for her mistake.
"I can't believe you said I look like Prince Andrew," he said to the shopkeeper. But don't worry; she teased him right back in return.
"I said to him, 'I'm so sorry, I just had a moment,'" she explained. "And then he said to me, 'I was trying to disguise my accent and sound Canadian.' And I said, yeah, you didn't do a very good job.'"
Overall, Stephen was thoroughly impressed by Harry and sang his praises to the Daily Mail.
"His mom would be so proud of him," she said. "Because he wasn't pretentious. He wasn't pushy. He wasn't offended. He was cheerfully allowing me to do the mom thing."
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