Tomorrow, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry kick off a three-day visit to Whistler and Vancouver, celebrating one year to go until the 2025 Invictus Games. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were in Vancouver this past fall, where Harry dropped the puck at a Canucks hockey game in the ceremonial face-off. That visit, like the next few days, was to bring awareness and excitement around the upcoming Invictus Games.
To mark their return to Canada, we're taking a trip down memory lane on Meghan and Harry's time in the country. In chronological order:
Prince Harry's Whistler ski trip in 1998
As Canada is a Commonwealth realm, there's a long history of royal visits to the country. Back in March 1998, then-Prince Charles brought his sons, Princes William and Harry, on a working trip to Vancouver, followed by a ski trip in Whistler. (The trip is recreated in The Crown season six, as it was famously called "Willsmania" for the excitement over a teen Prince William.)
King Charles has visited Canada 18 times, including in 2022 for Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, but not yet as monarch. On a previous visit, Charles said, "It is, as always, a special joy to be back in Canada again—a place that is very dear to us both. We are always made to feel so much at home in Canada and are greatly touched by the warmth of your welcome."
Meghan lived in Toronto while filming Suits
While Suits is set in New York, the long-running legal drama filmed in Canada. During the production, Meghan lived in Toronto. "It's really funny because I think as much of a big city as Toronto is, it’s so different from LA or New York. There [are] no paparazzi so it’s really easy to just have a normal life," she said back in 2015.
She first moved in 2011, and left in 2017. In his memoir Spare, Prince Harry writes about when Meghan had to quit the show and leave Canada. "Meg packed up her house, gave up her role in Suits. After seven seasons. A difficult moment for her, because she loved that show, loved the character she was playing, loved her cast and crew—loved Canada," Harry wrote. "On the other hand life there had become untenable. Especially on set. The show writers were frustrated, because they were often advised by the Palace comms team to change lines of dialogue, what her character would do, how she would act."
Prince Harry and Meghan's first major engagement together at Invictus Games 2017
On September 25, 2017 at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, Meghan joins Harry on a royal engagement—marking their first major public appearance together as a couple (though they had been dating for over a year at this point).
Throughout their relationship, they dated long distance, and Harry often visited Meghan in Canada. As she later revealed in Harry & Meghan, their Netflix documentary, the Toronto police weren't useful in protecting her from paparazzi. "I would say to the police, if any other woman in Toronto right now said to you, ‘I have six grown men who are sleeping in their cars around my house and following me everywhere that I go and I feel scared,' wouldn’t you say that it was stalking?" Markle said. "They said, ‘yes but there’s really nothing we can do because of who you’re dating.'"
Vancouver Island stay in 2019 with baby Archie
In late 2019, the Sussexes and their baby son, Prince Archie, vacationed on Canada's Vancouver Island. When they got back to London, Harry and Meghan went to Canada House, where they spoke about spending time in Canada. "Just to be able to take in the warmth that we experienced from the people but also just to walk around and just see the beauty of Canada," Meghan said. "To see Archie go ‘ahhh’ when you walk by and just see how stunning it is, so it meant a lot to us."
The trip came just before they announced their decision to step down as senior working royals. Initially, when that news was made public, the plan was for the Sussexes to split their time in the UK and North America; their statement said, "this geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity." That plan was soon was scrapped, and Harry and Meghan have since resided in California.
Invictus Games 2025
The 2025 Invictus Games will take place in Whistler and Vancouver, and ahead of the games, the Sussexes have traveled to Canada for engagements in support of the sporting event. This past fall, they attended a Canucks hockey game, and starting tomorrow, they will attend numerous events marking one year to go until the 2025 Games.
"As Invictus continues to adapt and evolve, I am extremely excited to announce that the Invictus Games Foundation has selected Canada to host the first-ever Winter Hybrid Games in 2025," Harry said in a statement. "The Invictus Games Vancouver-Whistler 2025 will offer a global platform to expand the range and profile of winter adaptive sports. With deep respect, I'm also pleased to share that the Games in Canada will be held in partnership with the First Nations, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation with indigenous communities."
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