Rumors have been swirling about where Megan Markle and Prince Harry will put down their roots since quitting their royal duties, and they’ve already set a posh Toronto neighborhood abuzz over a $11 million property.
But sources tell DailyMail.com they could easily end up in Malibu, New York City or even stay put in Vancouver.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex took the first steps in carving out their new lives as private citizens striving for ‘financial independence’ since quitting the royal family and relocating to North America with an appearance at JP Morgan’s ‘billionaires’ summit’ in Miami last week.
Amid heightened security and secrecy (and for a rumored $1 million pay check) Prince Harry, 35, was introduced to the esteemed crowd by his 38-year-old wife and went on to speak about his mental health and therapy.
The reported fee will help the couple make good on their promise to repay the British taxpayer for the $3 million refurbishment of their British base, Frogmore Cottage and keep up with the commercial rent which has been estimated at $460,000 a year.
Their earnings are set to rocket from there: PR experts have suggested the couple could make $100 million this year alone from the offers pouring in.
The pressing question then remains where the couple, and their nine-month-old son Archie, will decide to put down roots in North America after fleeing Britain in January.
Here, DailyMail.com explores likely locations where they will call home.
Rumors are rampant in the posh Rosedale area of Toronto that the residents are soon to welcome the Sussexes as neighbors.
The upmarket enclave, close to downtown, is one that Meghan knows well: best friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney lives a mile away with her TV presenter husband Brian and three children, and it is a short walk from cozy Italian restaurant Terroni where the former actress was a regular in the seven years that she spent in the city while filming cable TV drama, Suits.
Meghan raved about her favorite Toronto hot spots on her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig, and in interviews before she joined the royal family. She was a devotee of Moksha Yoga and treated herself to facials at W Skincare. She also enjoyed cocktails at Bar Isabel and perusing the foodie paradise Kensington Market before picking up bread at Blackbird Baking Company.
Last week, whispers about the royal ex-pats became drumbeats in the city, where residents famously pride themselves on discretion. One excited local emailed DailyMail.com: ‘Meghan and Harry bought a house in Toronto. Want more details?’
The home in question was 30 Rosedale Road: a lavish eight-bedroom property dating from the 1920s, complete with its own 5,000-bottle wine cellar, infinity pool and spa, which sold late last year for $11 million ($15 million CAD).
The lavish 17,000 sq ft home is cross of traditional and modern décor and boasts nine bathrooms, a state-of-the-art gym, bar, media room and staff quarters.
Owners, Eve Lewis and Paul Oberman, discussed the challenges of renovating the landmark home with the Global and Mail in 2010 after it had fallen into disrepair.
‘There aren’t many great houses like this in Toronto. So many homes of historical significance are torn down,’ Eve told the newspaper.
They employed skilled craftsmen for months to restore the house to its authentic former glory while adapting it for modern life. ‘The house was originally designed to be run by servants. It’s difficult to find the balance between restoration and adaptive reuse,’ her husband added.
On the narrow street, curious drivers slowed down this weekend to take cellphone pictures of the Georgian revival home, dubbed ‘Canada’s Downton Abbey’ by one realtor. One female passer-by loudly speculated on her cellphone whether the former royals would move to the area.
In person, some Rosedale dwellers were more reticent. A housekeeper at 30 Rosedale Road told DailyMail.com that she wasn’t allowed to open the door and said the owners were not home.
One neighbor, when asked about the house, angrily waved off the DailyMail.com reporter.
Justine Deluce, the agent who sold the home on behalf of Christie’s International Real Estate, declined to comment when contacted by DailyMail.com.
She later wrote on Instagram: ‘There has been much speculation over the past couple of weeks as to whether or not 30 Rosedale Road was sold to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. As a result of this rumor, we have received many inquiries from the media and fellow Torontonians asking if in fact, the rumor is true. As agents representing the Seller in this sale, [we] can formally confirm that the Royal Couple are NOT the buyers. We hope @sussexroyal are able to find a home as fine as 30 Rosedale Road and wish them all the best with their search.’
She then hashtagged the post: ‘#NOT #THE #BUYER.’
One seasoned Toronto real estate agent told DailyMail.com that the Rosedale property lacked privacy for the couple, who have brought multiple legal actions against the press.
‘Rosedale is a beautiful area and its pretty vibrant,’ he said. ‘If they were going to live in that house, the neighbors would know so it’s because they don’t want to be completely anonymous. It isn’t a gated area.
‘If they were going to buy a house in Toronto, there’s an area called Post Road a little further north for extremely wealthy individuals. Drake is apparently building a house there for $50 million. It’s massive properties with huge concrete walls.’
At the heart of the rumor mill appears to be a popular real estate blog, The Mash. On February 1, they fed speculation with an article titled: ‘IS THIS MEGHAN AND HARRY’S NEW HOUSE IN TORONTO!?!’
When asked for comment by DailyMail.com, they responded: ‘Thanks for the email. I’m sure you have talked to the listing agent and know this was not bought by M and H. Thanks!’
The Mash has made a number of blog posts suggesting where the couple might be settling down in the city including an update this weekend about an even grander property around the corner from the Rosedale Road home.
The blogger, who is anonymous, wrote: ‘Yesterday, Harry and Meghan’s security (or someone who has an insane amount of security) was ALL OVER the house at 124 Park Road that I first posted in 2016 when the asking price was $17,700,000 (CAD)…’
A call to the home this weekend by DailyMail.com went unanswered.
The 12,000 sq ft property, known as Caverhill, is a pre-Confederation house set on close to an acre of land. It too had fallen into neglect before being restored and modernized by owner David Berry, a former executive at the Bank of Nova Scotia and at one point, the bank’s highest-paid employee.
It is on the market for $15 million and has five bedrooms, nine bathrooms, an open-plan kitchen, steam room/sauna, sunken hot-tub, gym, wine cellar and floor-hockey rink.
An underground tunnel connects a guesthouse on the property beneath the garden to the main house.
One next-door neighbor said that she had seen no security officers at the home. ‘If I knew any information I wouldn’t tell you anyway,’ she added.
Meghan and Harry mulled over basing themselves in Montreal, according to a source close to the couple, who said they were poking around properties – including a $19.5 million island once owned by Céline Dion.
The insider said: ‘It’s on a private island between Laval and Boisbriand and so would be a convenient spot for them to hide away in.’
The source added: ‘It’s a five-hour drive from Toronto where Meghan used to live but it’s close enough for her to see friends easily.’
The ‘French-Normand style castle’ sits on the 830,000sqft Île Gagnon in the Milles Îles River, was built in 2001 and was the marital home of Dion and her late husband René Angélil.
Spread over three floors, the chateau boasts six bedrooms, nine bathrooms and a dining room that seats 18.
The 24,000 sqft mansion also comes with a stone-vaulted wine cellar, a home gym and a personal cinema.
Situated to the north of Montreal, the property is within striking distance of the international airport – which would allow the couple to commute easily between the Quebecois city and London.
Meghan remains tied to her native California through her mother and ‘rock’, Doria Ragland, 63, who lives in the Windsor Hills neighborhood where she is often seen walking her dog and heading to yoga classes.
DailyMail.com previously revealed Doria fully backed her daughter’s decision to leave the Royal family because she was ‘really worried about Meghan… and is relieved that her daughter is putting her mental health and well being first’.
Harry and Meghan are reportedly ‘hoping’ to spend their summer in Los Angeles.
Last month, Caitlyn Jenner told a British talk show that she heard the Sussexes were looking for a home in Malibu, California on the glittering Pacific coast highway – an hour from her mother’s house.
The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star, 70, told the Loose Women panel that Harry and Meghan ‘probably had enough’ to take such a drastic step back from their royal duties, but added it must have been ‘very difficult’ for the actress.
Asked what she thinks will happen next for the Royal couple, she said: ‘I can’t predict as I’ve tried to raise our royal family in the US. It was probably very difficult for Meghan, coming into the Royal Family.
‘It was a big shock to her, she’s probably had enough. Good for them, we’ll see how it goes. I heard they were looking for a house in Malibu. It must have been tough. Everyone deserves to be happy.’
Malibu also offers the couple easy access to Hollywood as they field offers from film and television powerhouses like Netflix and Disney.
Projects with Disney could be in the works after Harry was caught on a hot-mic at the London premiere of The Lion King asking Disney CEO Bob Iger if he could get Meghan voice over work.
‘Who wouldn’t be interested?’ mused Netflix boss Ted Sarandos, when asked about the possibility of working with the couple.
Harry and Meghan turned down an invitation to present the award for Best Picture at Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony in LA, according to HELLO! magazine.
Speaking to the publication, a source said: ‘They were honored by the request, but declined the invitation.’
Another option is the secluded enclave of Montecito where close friend Oprah lives on a 42-acre ranch and the couple visited during their six-week festive break. The visit came shortly after Kensington Palace announced that Harry and Oprah would be teaming up on a documentary series about mental health.
The media mogul also hosted Meghan’s mom, Doria, for an afternoon of yoga and lunch ahead of the Royal wedding.
Meghan Markle was determined to make her mark in New York before marrying Prince Harry in May 2018. Several years before meeting the royal, she attended a meet and greet at Elle magazine hoping to charm editors and gain publicity.
During a chat with editor Justine Harman, now host of podcast The Baron of Botox, Meghan touted her skills as an occasional calligrapher.
‘This is really random, but I met with the actress Meghan Markle from Suits and she does amazing calligraphy,’ Harman wrote her wedding planner afterward, according to New York magazine.
‘She offered to do my place cards for the wedding, which I assured her she doesn’t need to do! However, she is really eager to help out! Perhaps she could do the table menus?’
Meghan returned to the city in a far loftier position as a royal newlywed for her $200,000 baby shower in February last year. It was held in the penthouse of the Mark Hotel and attended by close friends Serena Williams, Amal Clooney and Gayle King.
The Big Apple also held a special place for Harry’s beloved mother, Princess Diana, who sought solace in the city as her marriage to Prince Charles crumbled in the early 1990s.
She made a high-profile solo-trip to New York in February 1989 while still married to the Prince of Wales which saw Diana combine glamour with her humanitarian ambitions, as she visited the opera in Brooklyn, the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side, and a children’s HIV unit in Harlem.
Diana retreated to New York after the breakdown of her marriage and in January 1995 made a whirlwind two-day visit, taking time to visit the pediatric AIDS unit at Harlem Hospital that she’d first been to six years earlier in 1989.
She also presented an award to British magazine editor Liz Tilberis, a close friend, at the Fashion Designer Awards at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan.
The princess won yet more admirers during a pre-Christmas visit to New York in 1996 to accept the Humanitarian of the Year at a Cerebal Palsy Dinner on December 11.
Flanked by then General Colin Powell, Diana accepted the award from Henry Kissinger.
The city played a hand in helping to firmly establish the Princess of Wales, by now distant from the royal family, as a global stateswoman-like figure ever growing in confidence.
On June 18, 1997, Diana walked hand-in-hand through the streets of the Bronx with Mother Theresa – it would be the last time the pair would meet, with Diana dying on August 31, 1997 and the religious figure passing away just six days later.
During that same June visit, Diana also spent time with then First Lady Hillary Clinton at the White House. Days later, Diana was back in New York to launch a Christie’s sale of evening and cocktail dresses, which included a Victor Edelstein design – the dress she wore during that famous dance with John Travolta at the White House in November 1985.
The Sussexes are currently ensconced in a $14 million waterfront mansion on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, borrowed from an anonymous individual whose name has been shielded by Canadian law.
The multi-millionaire who owns the home has declined to identify himself voluntarily ahead of new legislation in the Canadian province which will make it compulsory for the owners of properties to be publicly named.
A source previously told DailyMail.com: ‘Meghan told her friends that there is no rush to move out of the place they’ve been staying. That they’re welcome to live there as long as they like.
‘Meghan calls it her happy place and says that in the last couple of months, she’s felt more at home than she ever did in the UK.’
They have ringed the property in steel fences with ‘no trespassing signs’ and installed cameras and tarps at the front gate to prevent prying lens.
Security for the family is estimated to cost taxpayers in Canada and the UK between $4 and $7 million a year, as staff work 24/7.
A team of 15 guards has been flown after they stood back from royal duties. Guards are believed to escort them when they leave the property and it is also believed that two are stationed inside the house.
Some locals are also happy to do their part: Miles Arsenault, a water taxi driver in the area proudly told CBC that he had turned down a $300 fare from a Japanese television company that tried to book his vessel to visit the waterfront property where they have been staying.
‘It’s invasion of privacy,’ Arsenault said.
While giving Harry and Meghan the privacy they crave from the general public, the secluded location has not proven a barrier to their jet-setting lifestyle: JP Morgan is believed to have sent a private jet to the small airstrip on Vancouver Island to collect the couple last week to ferry them to Miami.
The Gulfstream 650, the bank’s largest and most luxurious private plane, then waited on the tarmac at Palm Beach International before dropping them back home in Canada in the early hours, a source told DailyMail.com.
The couple and their son have been at the mansion since before Thanksgiving where they are relaxing as a family, making homemade meals, practicing yoga and taking long hikes.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Louise Boyle