Prince Harry is expected to be joined by his wife Meghan Markle later this month for their “farewell tour” of the UK before beginning their new life outside the royal family.
Harry and Meghan are currently living in British Columbia, in a house called Mille Fleurs, and there are rumours they may choose to stay there or buy somewhere nearby.
Where is the Sussexes’ current Canadian home?
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Mille Fleurs is a mansion in North Saanich which, according to the community’s own website, northsaanich.ca, is a “highly desirable rural-residential area” at the south end of Vancouver Island, Canada. It is located at the tip of a peninsula north of Victoria, the capital of the province of British Columbia.
The area is on the west coast of Canada, close to the border with the US, specifically Washington state. As the crow flies, Mille Fleurs is less than 90 miles from the major US city of Seattle.
Even nearer, over the Strait of Georgia to the north of North Saanich, lies Vancouver, the third largest city in Canada.
What is the area like?
“Its long coastline on three sides affords many housing sites with excellent views of water, islands and mountains,” while “its rolling interior lands afford views of hills and valleys and a generous feeling of open space and rapport with nature”, says the North Saanich community site.
Civic pride doesn’t stop there: according to northsaanich.ca, along with neighbouring Sidney and Victoria, North Saanich is “said to be the finest rural-residential area in all of Canada”.
What sort of life are the ex-royals living there?
No longer allowed to use the word “royal” in their promotional material, Harry and Meghan can console themselves with a lot of outdoor activities. According to the Evening Standard, Meghan has already been spotted in Horth Hill Regional Park walking with her dogs and her baby Archie, now almost ten months old.
Northsaanich.ca promotes the region’s “extensive park and trails network”, which make it “a very popular area for day hiking, cycling and horse back riding”.
What is the house like?
Owned by a Russian oligarch, according to US property site realtor.com, Mille Fleurs is set in a 10,000-square-foot estate overlooking the Saanich Inlet, the house itself being right on the waterfront.
The Sussexes’ Canadian home is a mansion with eight bedrooms, a wine room and a double-height living room, says realtor.com. It comes with a pizza oven, a 17th-century fireplace imported from France and a “game room with a wet bar”.
Is there space for guests?
Yes. If the eight bedrooms are overflowing, Harry and Meghan will be able to put visitors up in a 2,000-square-foot guest cottage. Realtor.com suggests that baby Archie’s grandmother, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, is sure to stay and be a “big help”.
What if the Sussexes want to get away?
The couple could take a ferry to Vancouver if they want to get off Vancouver Island – it would take around three and a half hours and they could take a car with them. It’s probably more likely they will fly from Victoria International Airport.
There are scheduled flights from Victoria to Vancouver and Seattle. The total journey time to Los Angeles by a commercial flight is a manageable five and a half hours.
That could be handy for Meghan. According to this Saturday’s Daily Mail, the former Suits star is looking to return to acting and has told her agent to find her a role as a superhero – perhaps in the Marvel or DC Comics film franchises.
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And for the UK?
Harry and Meghan are expected to still spend part of each year at their home in Windsor – Frogmore Cottage. There are direct flights from Vancouver to Heathrow operated by several airlines. The flight is around nine and a half hours.
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