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From beach yoga to nights in with her dogs: Inside Meghan Markle's pre-royal life in Canada.

Right now, the biggest story surrounding the British Royal Family is the news Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be resigning from their roles as senior Royal Family members.

Announced in an Instagram post on their official royal joint account on Thursday, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared they’ll be stepping back and working to become financially independent while splitting their time raising son Archie between the UK and North America.

For some, the announcement came as a shock. Among those are the other royals themselves, who reportedly heard the news on social media along with the rest of the world. Others believe there were signs it’s been a long time coming.

 

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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. 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. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

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Having just skipped Christmas with the Queen in Sandringham for a six week holiday in Canada with Archie and Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, Markle’s former home of Toronto is widely tipped to be where the royal couple will set up their new digs.

Markle, who was born in California, called Toronto home for nine months every year, for seven years, while she was playing Rachel Zane on the US legal drama Suits. During that time, she lived a semi-normal life as a celebrity, rather than a royal and all the media scrutiny that comes with that role.

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Before the couple officially move, here’s a look into what Meghan Markle’s life in Canada was like before she became The Duchess of Sussex.

For a recap of everything that’s happening with Meghan and Harry stepping back from their royal roles, and what it means for the Royal Family, listen to this episode of The Quicky podcast below. Post continues after audio.

Meghan Markle’s Canadian home.

Long before she lived in her newly renovated Frogmore Cottage home and a Kensington Palace “apartment” before that, Markle lived in a three-bedroom, two-bath home in Toronto’s Seaton Village.

The house, which sold for $1.395 million in late-2017, has a rustic American-style exterior, a stark contrast to the modern interiors. Think: sleek, white countertops, wooden furniture and finishes, all white and grey linens and a bathroom with floor-to-ceiling marble subway tiles.

You can check out photos from the real estate listing below.

meghan markle canada house
Image: 10yarmouthroad.viewthisgreathome.com.
Image: 10yarmouthroad.viewthisgreathome.com.
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meghan markle canada house
Image: 10yarmouthroad.viewthisgreathome.com.
meghan markle canada house
Image: 10yarmouthroad.viewthisgreathome.com.
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meghan markle canada house
Image: 10yarmouthroad.viewthisgreathome.com.
meghan markle canada house
Image: 10yarmouthroad.viewthisgreathome.com.
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Meghan Markle's Instagram.

One of the things Markle reportedly misses the most about non-royal life is being able to communicate on her own terms through her personal Instagram account, which had a casual 1.9 million followers before it was deleted in January 2018.

At the time, Kensington Palace confirmed the news, saying Markle was “grateful to everyone who has followed her social media accounts over the years” but had closed them “as she has not used these accounts for some time”.

As a senior member of the Royal Family, Markle wasn't permitted to have her own social media accounts, instead posting through an official royal joint account from herself and Prince Harry. But unlike her fellow royals, Markle had posted years and years of blog posts, photos and tweets that were screenshotted before disappearing forever, giving us an insight into her fascinating pre-royal life.

So we’ve deep-dived into her most interesting Instagram photos, which include the moment she met President Obama, some beautiful holidays, time spent on the set of Suits, and snaps of her with famous friends.

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Meghan Markle's dogs.

As featured on her now-deleted Instagram account, a big part of Markle's pre-royal life was being a dog owner.

Markle rescued two dogs while she was living in Canada: a Beagle named Guy who she's had since 2015, and her first rescue dog Bogart, a Labrador-Shepherd mix. In a forward for animal welfare charity Mayhew's annual review, Markle wrote about being a proud rescue dog owner.

"As a proud rescue dog owner, I know from personal experience the joy that adopting an animal into your home can bring. The role that we, as people, play in rehoming and rescuing these animals is vital," she wrote, Town & Country reports.

"The choice to adopt a pet is a big decision that comes with much responsibility but infinite return on the investment, but will undoubtedly change your life."

Sadly, Markle couldn't take both of her rescue dogs with her when she moved to the UK. Bogart reportedly had to stay in Canada with a close friend because he was too old to travel, while Guy made the trip over with her.

Then, in late-2018, royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith reported Markle and Prince Harry adopted their first dog together - a black Labrador.

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Meghan Markle's Canadian friends.

 

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A post shared by Jess Mulroney (@jessicamulroney) on

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Jessica Mulroney and Meghan Markle in 2016. Image: Getty.
meghan markle
Jessica Mulroney and Meghan Markle in 2016. Image: Getty.
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Markle met one of her closet friends Jessica Mulroney when she relocated to Toronto to film Suits. According to Harpers Bazaar UK, they bonded over their shared interest of yoga.

Mulroney is currently a fashion stylist for the US morning show Good Morning America, but was working with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, former TV host and wife of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau when she and Markle met. Markle is also friends with Mulroney's husband, Ben Mulroney, the son of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.

Markle and Mulroney have remained close since Markle moved to the UK - multiple news outlets report she was Markle's unofficial wedding planner and helped pick out her wedding dress. She was also at Markle's New York baby shower in February 2019.

While living in Toronto, Meghan also became friends with many of her Suits co-stars. So much so, some attended her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, including Patrick J. Adams (Mike Ross), Gina Torres (Jessica Pearson), Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen), Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter) and Rick Hoffman (Louis Litt).

Other high profile friendships of Markle's include American tennis legend Serena Williams and actress Priyanka Chopra, who she'll no doubt get to see a lot more of when she's living in North America.

Feature image: Instagram.

How do you think Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's lives will change now they've stepped back from being senior members of the Royal Family? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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