In a shocking statement released earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they intend to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family.” Their Instagram post also revealed the couple's plans to split their time moving forward between the UK and North America.
"This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity," they wrote.
Exactly where they will live in North America has yet to be shared publicly, but some locations are more likely than others. Here, we break down each possibility, knowing that no matter where Harry and Meghan choose to make their home on this side of the Atlantic, it will change the British royal family forever.
Vancouver or Vancouver Island
Canada seems like a logical place for the couple to move, given that it's part of the Commonwealth, and Meghan has strong ties to the country from her pre-royal life. It also seems a likely choice, as The Times reported that the couple’s decision to issue their announcement “was prompted by a story in The Sun saying that they were planning to spend part of the year in Canada.”
During their six-week holiday break, Harry and Meghan stayed on Vancouver Island, which is located Canada's southwestern coast in the province of British Columbia. The adorable photo of baby Archie shared on their Instagram account on December 31, was reportedly taken on its shores, and it's entirely possible that the Sussexes could make the island their home base, for at least part of the year.
Vancouver, the coastal city on Canada's mainland, which Meghan has described as "beautiful," is also a plausible location for the Sussexes, and one that's a bit more urban than the island.
During her visit to Canada House earlier this week, Meghan spoke about both the splendor of the country, and the "warmth" of its people.
“Just to be able to take in the warmth that we experienced from the people but also just to walk around and just see the beauty of Canada,” she said. “To see Archie go ‘ahhh’ when you walk by and just see how stunning it is, so it meant a lot to us.”
Eight-month-old Archie clearly feels comfortable in Canada, and when Harry and Meghan flew back to England to make their announcement, he stayed behind, reportedly in the care of a nanny and Meghan's close friend Jessica Mulroney. Meghan has since returned to her son, with Harry due to follow in a few days.
British Columbia isn't the only place Harry and Meghan could set up camp in Canada. Meghan lived in Toronto for seven years while filming Suits. She once said of the city, “It’s really funny because I think as much of a big city as Toronto is, it’s so different from LA or New York. There [are] no paparazzi so it’s really easy to just have a normal life.” It's possible Meghan feels that Toronto could give her family that “space to focus on the next chapter,” as she and Harry put it in their announcement.
In addition to the privacy and familiarity, Meghan’s best friend Jessica Mulroney lives in Toronto full-time, making it all the more likely that the Sussexes would feel at home in Canada's most populous city.
Speaking of feeling at home, Meghan may decide to forgo Canada and get back to her American roots.
The Duchess of Sussex is a California girl who grew up in LA; her mother, Doria Ragland, still lives there. Being close to Ragland could prove to be a comfort as Harry and Meghan make the transition into their new roles within the royal family.
That said, a source has confirmed to The Times: “when the couple talk about living in North America, they mean Canada, although they may also spend time in the US.”
No matter where Harry and Meghan choose to live outside of the UK, it's clear that they would like to keep their home in Windsor, Frogmore Cottage, which they moved into shortly before the birth of their son Archie in May of 2019.
They spell this out explicitly on their new website:
"Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage – with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen – as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom."
What's unclear at this point, is whether Harry and Meghan's pursuit of financial independence will require them to pay any sort of rent for the residence, as it is owned by the British monarch, and was recently renovated using taxpayer funding.
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