Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have lived in a handful of places over the last few years—the U.K., Canada and California. However, there was apparently another country that the couple considered before making their permanent move to Los Angeles: New Zealand.
According to the country’s governor-general, Patsy Reddy, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex inquired about moving to the country during their royal tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2018.
“I remember they’d just been down to the Abel Tasman National Park when we sat down and had a drink, and they said that they could imagine living in a place like this and wondered whether we thought it would be theoretically possible. Even possible for them to have a place in New Zealand,” Reddy recently told the Associated Press in an interview. “Of course, we said, ‘Sure. It would be fine. There are lots of opportunities to live in New Zealand, but that would be something that they’d have to explore.’ They were looking at how they might raise their family. And, obviously, they’ve made some decisions since.”
Two years after completing their tour, the duke and duchess made the decision to step down as senior members of the royal family and live a financially independent life in Markle’s home state of California. And it wasn’t just Markle’s choice—a source previously told Vogue in 2020 that the couple chose Montecito because “Harry loves California.” The source explained, “They were both drawn to the smaller town of Santa Barbara, where they can integrate into the community while having some distance and privacy that is hard to come by in the Los Angeles area.”