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Prince Harry to join Meghan Markle 'at $14m Vancouver mansion this week'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 14/01/2020 By Robert Jobson
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture © Provided by Evening Standard

Prince Harry is preparing to join his wife Meghan and baby Archie in Canada at the end of the week following a "constructive" summit on the young family's future within the monarchy.

They are believed to be staying at the $14 million mansion on Vancouver Island where the family spent their extended Christmas break.

It has been reported that the waterfront home is owned by Hollywood mogul Frank Giustra, although he has denied this.

It came as Justin Trudeau offered his support to Harry and Meghan and said most Canadians would welcome the couple making their home there.

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More on this story:

Meghan 'barred' from calling in on Royal summit (Daily Mail)

Why the last line of the Queen's statement says it all (Sky News)

Trudeau to discuss Royals' security bill (Evening Standard)

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The Canadian Prime Minister said there were “still lots of discussions to have” but backed the couple’s wish to spend much of their time in the Commonwealth country, where Harry's grandmother the Queen is the country’s head of state.

Prince Harry, Justin Trudeau are posing for a picture: Justin Trudeau has offered his support to Meghan and Harry (PA Archive/PA Images) © Provided by Evening Standard Justin Trudeau has offered his support to Meghan and Harry (PA Archive/PA Images)

His positive comments came after the Evening Standard revealed that he had privately assured the Queen that the Canadian taxpayer would cover security costs so that the family’s safety would not be jeopardised .

Mr Trudeau said: “I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have.”

He added: “There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the royal family, by the Sussexes themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have.

“We are obviously supportive of their reflections but have responsibilities in that as well. We’re not entirely sure what the final decisions will be, what the dispositions are and those are decisions for them.”

Gallery: A timeline of Harry and Meghan's romance (Photos)

He said the federal Canadian government had not been involved “up until this point” about what the couple’s move to the country would involve. He said discussions were ongoing about who would pay for what, after a backlash about Canadian taxpayers covering security costs.

After yesterday’s extraordinary two-hour Sandringham summit — involving the Queen, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Harry — the monarch released a statement saying the royal family had agreed that there would be a period of transition in which Harry and Meghan would spend time in Canada and the UK. The Sussexes decided it was not necessary for the duchess to join the meeting over the phone , sources told the Standard.

Gallery: Royals who gave up their titles (Lovemoney)

It is understood the Queen wants the issued settled within days, not weeks, so that it does not become a distraction.

In a remarkably informal statement in which she referred to “family” several times , the Queen said she was “entirely supportive” of the Sussexes desire for a new role but “would have preferred” them to remain full-time working royals. She also said that after the “very constructive” talks she expected final decisions to be made in the coming days.

Meghan Markle et al. looking at the camera: Meghan did not join in with talks held at Sandringham (POOL/AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Evening Standard Meghan did not join in with talks held at Sandringham (POOL/AFP via Getty Images) It has been suggested that Harry spent some time alone with the Queen before his father and brother arrived.

Her statement, released after the meeting concluded, said: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family, while remaining a valued part of my family.”

She also emphasised that the couple do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. This means Prince Charles will initially fund his son and family, but he is understood to have made it clear that he will not offer a “blank cheque”.

He has already been supporting his son, as the Standard revealed, to the tune of millions from the profits of his Duchy of Cornwall estate as well as his private investments.

Elizabeth II wearing a hat and a red car: Queen Elizabeth departs from St Mary Magdalene's church on the Sandringham estate (REUTERS) © Provided by Evening Standard Queen Elizabeth departs from St Mary Magdalene's church on the Sandringham estate (REUTERS)

The urgent talks were called by the Queen after the Sussexes defied her and released a statement announcing their intention to step down as senior royals. The Sussexes also stated they wanted a “progressive new role” within the institution, where they would eventually become financially independent.

Both Harry and Meghan have spoken publicly of the problems they have faced as members of the royal family and complained about the media attention in recent months after the birth of their son Archie.

Harry made it clear that he had grave concerns that his wife would become a victim to what were described as “the same powerful forces” that he believes led to the tragic death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

Gallery: Stars react to Harry and Meghan's bombshell news (US Weekly)

Some commentators suggested that the fact that the Queen did not refer to the couple as “the duke and duchess” in her statement suggests they could be stripped of the title she gave them and their HRH titles.

But a senior source told the Standard: “That’s not the case. The emphasis was on family, hence the informal tone.”

The Queen states that they are still royals and they will be “valued” in the family as they become a more independent couple.

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