Meghan Markle and Prince Harry discussed moving to New Zealand more than a year before they left the royal family

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry discussed moving to New Zealand more than a year before they left the royal family
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Harry and Meghan NZ House
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit New Zealand House. Mark Cuthbert/ UK Press via Getty Images
  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry discussed moving to New Zealand in 2018.

  • The country's governor-general told AP that she spoke about the possibility with the couple.

  • The couple have resided in California since March 2020.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex considered moving from the UK to New Zealand just five months after the duchess joined the royal family in 2018, according to the country's governor-general Patsy Reddy.

Reddy told The Associated Press that she discussed the possibility with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during their royal tour of the country in October 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, who acts as the Queen's representative in New Zealand, told the publication.

Meghan Harry and Patsy Reddy
Patsy Reddy met the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in New Zealand in 2018. MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Image

"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," she added. "They were looking at how they might raise their family. And, obviously, they've made some decisions since."

The publication added that Reddy didn't view it as a formal request, but rather an informal discussion about the couple's hopes for the future.

Markle, Harry, and their son Archie left the UK permanently after they announced their step back from royal duties in January 2020. The couple took a sabbatical on Vancouver Island, Canada, before relocating to California in March 2020.

They bought a home in Montecito, California, in July of that year.

There had been rumors that the couple were considering a move overseas since 2019, with some royal correspondents reporting that a working sabbatical in Africa had been discussed.

Markle and Harry confirmed during their Oprah interview that they had offered to take their step back from royal life in a Commonwealth country such as New Zealand or South Africa, The Associated Press added.

Representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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