As outlined in last night’s shock statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are moving away from their Royal duties and are planning to spend their time between North America and the UK.
Whilst they plan on keeping Windsor’s Frogmore Cottage as their UK residence, we don’t know where they’re planning on being based in the vast continent of North America.
However, the Royal couple have a few favourite hotspots in which they might be looking to settle – both within the Commonwealth’s Canada and stateside.
Harry and Meghan took to the island just off the West Coast of Canada to spend this year’s six-week Christmas break. Before they embarked on their holiday, the palace confirmed in a statement that ‘the decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both’. The palace also noted the personal ties of the country to Meghan herself, stating ‘it was home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family.’
After sharing this snap of Harry and Archie on the SussexRoyal Instagram from Vancouver Island, fans of the royal couple have been speculating for a while that they may relocate there. Not only does it offer stunning natural landscapes and a slower pace of life, but the Island is also close to Vancouver itself, giving the Royal couple a chance to experience metropolitan life as well.
In the statement released yesterday, the Royal pair were keen to emphasise the importance of raising Archie in multiple countries – a significant break from the usual Royal tradition of English schooling and upbringing, ‘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’, the statement read.
Staying within the Commonwealth, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex might be looking at the largest city in Canada for their North American base. Meghan was based in the city for years whilst filming Suits, and was still calling it home when her and Harry began their relationship. The couple also had their first public appearance in Toronto in 2017, at the Invictus Games.
Harry and Meghan have also publicly supported a Toronto homelessness organisation as one of their 12 charities they were supporting over Christmas – the only Canadian charity to make it on to their list.
As well as the statement outlining their intentions, the couple have launched a new website – designed by a Toronto-based digital agency that was also behind Meghan’s now-archived lifestyle blog, The Tig. The new website name was registered 10 months ago – meaning that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had it in the pipeline since March 2019.
Los Angeles was where Meghan was born and raised, so a move back there is an obvious choice. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, also works and lives in LA. After last year’s rumours that she was moving to London to be closer to her daughter failed to materialise, perhaps Meghan will instead move to be closer to her in sunny California.
As well as family ties, the Duchess of Sussex could be looking at LA for its film industry. After announcing in their statement that they were seeking financial independence, speculation that Meghan will be returning to the acting industry is growing – and Los Angeles would be the ideal location for that return.
Etiquette expert Edmund Fry, who gave the Duchess lessons when she started dating Prince Harry, told the Express last year that ‘Meghan is a Los Angeles girl, born and raised here with many links to Hollywood and friends here… it is possible to live stress-free and out of the glare of publicity here.’
California is also the home of a number of the couple’s celebrity friends – Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres being among the many. Powerful media contacts will prove invaluable when they make the move away from the Royal family and from the UK – not only for business connections, but as confidantes in the world of celebrity.
Despite Meghan’s familial ties to LA, the former actress and blogger has been vocal about her love for the Big Apple. In 2014, she wrote of the city on The Tig that ‘it’s the food, the mother f-ing fantastic, crave-worthy food, that keeps me wrapped around its little finger.’
Not only did Meghan spend extended periods there filming Suits, but she also chose to host her two day baby shower there before the arrival of Archie – reportedly at ‘NYC’s Most Boldly Lavish 5-Star Hotel’, The Mark.
New York is also home to the United Nations HQ, which Meghan has joined forces with in the past as she campaigned for gender equality for the empowerment of women as a UN advocate.