Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made their move to leave Canada and settle permanently in Los Angeles before the border between Canada and the United States were shut last Friday, according to reports.
The Sun first reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took a private flight from British Columbia to the Los Angeles area sometime before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump closed the border between the two countries. They are now, like other Californians, sheltering in place, The Sun said.
People magazine cited a source who said that the couple and their 10-month-old son Archie are staying in a secluded compound in Meghan’s LA hometown and haven’t ventured out.
“Harry and Meghan have left Canada now for good,” The Sun said. “The borders were closing and flights were stopping. They had to get out.”
The move from a $13 million mansion, where they were staying on Vancouver Island, isn’t unexpected given that Meghan, 38, has a huge support system in Los Angeles, including her mother Doria Ragland, The Sun said. Los Angeles also is the home base of the couple’s new team of Hollywood agents and public relations and business managers, The Sun added.
“They knew Canada would not work out for various reasons and they want to be based in the Los Angeles area,” the source told The Sun.
People and other outlets previously revealed that the couple had been inquiring about luxury real estate in the Los Angeles area, including a $7 million Malibu home with swimming pool and tennis court.
But the couple’s apparent move to the United States also comes as Harry’s home country is facing its own coronavirus crisis, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles diagnosed with COVID-19 and the queen and Prince William and Kate Middleton self-isolating at their homes at Windsor Castle and Anmer Hall, respectively.
The Sussexes’ decision to settle in the United States, not Canada, a Commonwealth country, has left the royal family “stunned and horrified,” according to The Sun.
Meghan and Harry’s last public royal engagement was March 9, when they attended the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey with the queen, Charles, William and Kate.
But Harry is determined to leave that royal life behind and make a new life in California, according to People.
“Harry is looking straight ahead at his future with his family,” another source told People. “They will be spending time in California … He’s not looking back.”
As the pandemic’s global reach became increasingly dire, the couple sought to speak to their Instagram followers about the need for people to support one another in these “uncertain times.”
“And now, more than ever, we need each other. We need each other for truth, for support, and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary,” they wrote on Instagram last week. “Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring. This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit.”
But couple’s reported decision to leave Canada also will no doubt raise new questions about who will foot the sizable costs for their security, as well as about Harry’s immigration status.
Canada announced in February that it would stop helping the U.K. government pay for the couple’s security after March 31, when the couple’s decision to stop being senior members of the royal family became official.
The world-famous couple’s security costs was previously estimated to run as high as $25 million a year, with British police worrying that guarding them could be “a security nightmare,” as they live outside the U.K. and jet around the globe for their various commercial and philanthropic endeavors, the Mirror reported in February.
The idea that the U.K. or Canadian governments would pay for their security stoked anger among politicians and taxpayers as Harry and Meghan insisted that they wanted to be financially independent and are poised to earn hundreds of millions of dollars through speaking gigs and various commercial endeavors.
As for Harry’s immigration status if they settle in the United States, the couple presumably will need to file a Form 1-130, a “petition for alien relative,” with the Department of Homeland Security.
Harry will then need to apply for a marriage green card, which will give him “permanent resident” status and allow him to live and work anywhere in the United States. The typical wait time for a green card is 10 to 13 months, according to the immigration guide Boundless.
Meghan has already signaled some of her future intensions for a career with voiceover work she did for “Elephant,” a Disneynature channel documentary about elephants. The film starts streaming on April 3 on Disney+.
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