In an email to the The Canadian Press, Hannah Howard, the Deputy Communications Secretary to the Queen, said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.”
Royal watchers are well familiar with the fact that Toronto is where Markle lived while filming her TV show, “Suits,” but Howard did not confirm the young family’s exact location for their stay in Canada.
“The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both,” the statement said. “Whilst this email confirms the country they are taking their family time in, for security reasons we will not be releasing any further details and request that their privacy is respected.”
The statement added, “The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family.”
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Both Markle and Prince Harry have strong ties to Canada. The couple made their first public appearance in Toronto during the 2017 Invictus games. Markle’s best friend, Jessica Mulroney, lives in Toronto, along with her husband and E-Talk host, Ben. The Mulroneys’ twin sons were a part of the now-Sussexes’ royal wedding party.
The royal couple described Canada as a “very special place” for the both of them during a Canada Day greeting earlier this year.
News of Harry and Meghan’s choice for the holidays reached Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who on Friday wished them a “quiet and blessed stay.”
Last month, Buckingham Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would not be joining the rest of the royal family at the queen’s Sandringham Castle Estate in Norfolk.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month,” the palace said, confirming an earlier report that speculated the couple would be taking a royal sabbatical in November, though it was originally thought to be to America.
“Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’ mother Doria Ragland,” the statement said. “This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.”
Though Harry and Meghan will miss out on the royals’ walk from Sandringham to St. Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas, it seems two other royals will be stepping up to take their place. Prince George and Princess Charlotte will reportedly walk for the first time along with their parents, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and the rest of their relatives.
With files from Premila D’Sa and The Canadian Press
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