There's been a lot of drama amongst the British royal family over the past week. From Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to "step back" from their role as "senior royals" (aka full time working members of the House of Windsor) to rumors of bullying in Harry's relationship with Prince William, the tea has been piping hot. Queen Elizabeth called for a summit between herself, Prince Charles, Harry and William on Monday (January 13) to sort everything out. While the Queen ultimately gave Harry and Meghan her blessing to live abroad for part of the year, Meghan was already back in Canada with baby Archie and skipped the meeting.
As of Wednesday (January 15), Prince Harry remains in England to attend to official royal business while Meghan and Archie are back in Canada where they spent the holidays. The Duchess of Sussex has laid pretty low throughout all the drama, however, she was spotted for the first time on Tuesday (January 14). In photos obtained by The Daily Mail, Meghan, bundled up in a green parka, can be seen boarding a seaplane in Vancouver.
Meghan's rare public outing was for a very special reason, too. She made a surprise visit to the Downtown Eastside Women's Center in Vancouver to 'offer support' and 'boost the staff's spirits," according to Daily Mail. The shelter shared a photograph with Meghan to their Facebook page, as well, writing: "Look who we had tea with today! The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visited us today to discuss issues affecting women in the community."
According to a friend of the Duchess, Meghan reportedly has no plans to return to the United Kingdom full time. "She doesn't want to raise Archie [in London], and she doesn't want to schlep back and forth. She'll make extended visits, but that's it," Meghan's friend informed The Daily Mail. Meghan was "miserable in the U.K." and "wasn’t sleeping well and started having anxiety attacks about her future" after Archie was born in May.
Harry and Meghan are reportedly looking for a new permanent residence in Canada. Meghan's friend claims the Sussexes are hoping to have a "country house in Whistler outside of Vancouver and a home in Toronto." This may come as a shock to many people, however, the anonymous confidante told The Daily Mail: "This was her plan all along, to eventually leave the UK and build her own empire with Harry."
Despite reports that the royal family was blindsided by Meghan and Harry's decision to leave the U.K., the friend alleges the announcement "was not a surprise to the royal family, they knew all along." Whether their feelings were hurt by the decision is another matter, according to the insider. Meghan reportedly feels "the good she and Harry can create with their own fortune far outweighs any hurt feelings."