NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 01: Prince Harry and his fiancee, US actress Meghan Markle, visit the Nottingham Academy as part of their first official public engagements togetheron December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday 27th November 2017 and will marry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor in May 2018. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

After announcing they would be taking six weeks off royal duties over Christmas to focus on family time, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were confirmed to be heading to the US to spend the holiday period – Thanksgiving and, everyone assumed, Christmas – with Meghan Markle’s mum, Doria Ragland. But overnight, Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple and their son, seven-month-old Archie Harrison, had left the US for another country: Markle’s old home of Canada. 

Before joining the royal family, Markle was based in Canada for seven years, during her time working on legal drama, Suits. In the early months of her and Prince Harry’s early courtship, the two would secretly fly back and forth between the UK and Canada visiting each other, before Markle eventually relocated to Britain fulltime upon announcing their engagement. Now that the couple is married and has a son, they’ve returned as a family, likely to visit Markle’s close friends – her best friend, Jessica Mulroney, lives in Toronto – and to spend time alone together. 

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – SEPTEMBER 25: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville – Pool/Getty Images)

In a statement, the palace confirmed the threesome is “spending private family time in Canada.”

“The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both,” it read. “Whilst this email confirms the country they are taking their family time in, for security reasons we will not be releasing any further details and request that their privacy is respected.”

“The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family. They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.”

In response to the news, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a welcome to the family, writing, “Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie, we’re all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada. You’re among friends, and always welcome here.”

The palace’s statement didn’t reveal whether the family is planning to spend Christmas in Canada or head back to Los Angeles where Markle’s mum resides – heck, they may even surprise us all and pop back to the UK in time for Christmas with the Queen. 

thoughts?