The Duchess of Sussex has returned to Canada, leaving a royally flustered Britain behind her. A source tells E! News that Meghan Markle has returned to Vancouver Island to be reunited with son Archie, who had been left with a friend and a nanny, after just three days back in the UK. Prince Harry is expected to join them early next week. When they went back to Britain after spending the holidays in Canada, the royal couple shocked Harry's homeland by announcing that they plan to "step back" as senior members of the royal family and divide their time between Britain and North America, while becoming "financially independent." Palace sources tell the BBC that Buckingham Palace was "blindsided" by the statement and the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William have asked staff to find a "solution."
The couple's departure from life as senior royals in Britain, where they have long complained about intrusive and sometimes racially biased press coverage, appears to have been "a more carefully plotted escape than anyone recognized," the Guardian reports. They reportedly trademarked more than 100 items, including socks and pencils, under the "Sussex Royal" brand more than six months ago. The business opportunities will likely help them on the road to financial independence—as will their estimated $44 million fortune. Celebrity life coach Patrick Wanis says Meghan, an American citizen with a successful acting career, might find the change easier to adjust to than Harry. "It's not like he can say I’m an expert in human behavior, so the best thing he can do first is support his wife and learn from her," he says. (Read more Duke and Duchess of Sussex stories.)