Peek Inside Prince Harry And Meghan’s $18 Million Vancouver Island Home
At the beginning of 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, made an announcement that no one saw coming, not even the Queen. The Sussex Royals decided that in the best interest of their young son and family, they would step down as senior members of the British Royal Family. Part of that decision included balancing their time between North America and Britain. Within days of their announcement, Meghan boarded a plane to Canada and moved into a luxurious waterfront estate on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia. Prince Harry soon followed and the Sussex Royals began their next chapter in life.
Mille Fleurs Estate, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Prince Harry and Meghan are staying in what’s known as the Mille Fleurs estate, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The estate offers the couple plenty of privacy behind gates with private access to the beach.
These photos were taken while the estate was listed for sale, at a price upwards of $18 million. Seeing as Prince Harry grew up in Buckingham Palace, he’ll feel right at home with 11,416 square feet in the main house alone.
11,416 Square Feet of Living Space In The Main House Alone
The estate comes fully furnished, designed with a French Country style. Throughout the house are timeless pieces of furniture and elegant lighting. The light-colored flooring on the lower level of the two-level living room balances out the dark wood featured in the beams and door frames.
The home was a perfect option for Prince Harry and Meghan, as it’s completely turnkey. They want to enjoy their privacy and this spacious home offers plenty of square footage to enjoy while sheltered from the outside world.
The Estate Features French Country Style
Nearly every window in the five-bedroom, eight-bathroom estate faces out towards the water. Harry and Meghan are able to enjoy incredible views from the living room, looking out to the back patio. Their beach access is private, offering a quiet and serene location on Vancouver Island.
The Mille Feurs estate is also large enough to entertain friends and family members who make the trip to the island in British Columbia. The property features a separate guest cottage spanning 2,349 square feet, according to Sotheby’s.
A Large, Two-Story Living Room
The design inside the Mille Fleurs estate is stunning. The high ceilings and wooden beams create a grand effect, complemented by this grandiose chandelier that brings a sense of elegance at night. The fireplace on the lower level is a perfect spot to read a book on a cold day.
Although it’s unclear when the couple decided to move into the estate with baby Archie, the Sussex Royals also celebrated the holidays in this home.
Formal Dining With Incredible French Country Detailing
The formal dining room features beautiful herringbone wood floors and another fireplace to enjoy. The large table has ten place settings and several elegant lighting fixtures and chandelier.
Called “the great room,” this dining space features double-height ceilings and warm reds and golds that stay true to the French Country style of the estate. Ocean Home Mag reports that home was originally owned by a German movie star.
A Gourmet Kitchen
The couple said that they became engaged while “trying to roast a chicken,” as Harry jokingly put it, at his home in Kensington Palace. It was “just a standard, typical night for us,” he said. Now the couple can make plenty of family memories in their gorgeous gourmet kitchen.
Bernadette Wolfswinkel, who reportedly owned the home in 2012, told Ocean Home Mag, “People may come for a few days or a week, but they don’t want to leave.”
A Formal Study For Royal Sussex Inspiration
As outlined on their Royal Sussex website, Prince Harry and Meghan have several plans for the future, including charity efforts and talks of a production company. This immaculate study in their Mille Fleurs home is sure to inspire great ideas for their future.
It’s designed with big windows overlooking the natural surroundings and a beautiful fireplace, creating a cozy feel. The wood-paneled ceilings and decadent chandelier pull together the French country look that’s carried throughout the rest of the estate.
Formal Gardens Surround The Estate
Harry and Meghan have already been spotted going on hikes around the island with baby Archie, and they also have formal manicured gardens on their own property to explore. It seems as though every window in every room of the Mille Fleurs estate has an incredible view, and the private outdoor area boasts an even broader scope of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding land.
Once the temperatures warm up, the Royal Sussex family is sure to spend plenty of days and nights entertaining outdoors.
Two Beach Access Points
Wolfswinkel, who reportedly owned the estate in 2012, hired horticulturalist Jim Dawson to select the plants and flowers to complement the property without taking away from the water views and nature surrounding the home.
The previous homeowner designed pathways around the manicured grounds and formal gardens, ideal for a peaceful stroll with baby Archie. The estate is located nearby the world-renowned Butchart Gardens, which is also a Natural Historic Site of Canada.
The Guest Cottage Is 2,349 Square Feet
The charming guest cottage is 2,349 feet, more space than the average family’s main home! The cottage features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, which would be enough room for Prince William, Kate, and their brood to stay in if they visit.
Like the main house, the cottage is surrounded by beautiful lush vegetation and is just a short walk to the waterside. It’s the first building you see when you enter through the property gates.
An Incredible Space To Enjoy Natural Light
The previous homeowner, Wolfswinkel, spent countless hours studying French Country design to make sure the estate was authentic. She told Ocean Home Mag, “I wanted the house to have modern amenities, but [also] to look like it had been here for 100 years.”
She calls it a “sun-catcher house” as the design angles windows to perfectly capture the sun throughout the day. She hired specialized craftspeople to complete the beams that add extravagance and age to the home.
The estate is situated to have a 300-degree waterfront view. The previous homeowner described it as “very zen, very comforting.” The design was to be mindful of the natural beauty around and to honor the land.
The property measures just under four acres and features fruit trees including apple, pear, and apricot trees, as Ocean Home Mag reports. For many years, the estate was available to rent for weddings and other celebrations.
A Shielded Gate For Privacy
Since announcing that they’re stepping down from their senior royal duties and leaving Britain, the Sussex Royals are attempting to keep their private life on lockdown. While Meghan has already stepped out to visit a women’s shelter, they’ve chosen Vancouver Island for its natural surroundings and privacy.
There are several gates around the property, and the one that passersby were able to see through was shielded from view. The Sussex Royals still have the same level of security in place that they had in Britain.
It Offers More Privacy Than Frogmore Cottage
The Sussex Royals announced that they would be working toward becoming financially independent and part of that included paying back Britain’s taxpayers for the $3 million they used to renovate Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
It’s not clear if they’ve purchased the $18 million Mille Fleurs estate, or just renting it. But with Harry and Meghan’s combined net worth, they can certainly afford it if they choose to. The Duchess of Sussex lived in Canada for several years while filming Suits, so it makes sense that they would take up residence in the country.
A Media Room, Game Room, And Wine Tasting Room
The landscape was also designed so that residents and visitors could enjoy various plants and flowers from every window in the five-bedroom, eight-bathroom home. Not pictured is a game room with a wet bar and a media room.
The estate also has a room designated for wine tasting and a pizza oven, perfect for entertaining. Harry and Meghan have everything they need in the $18 million estate, as well as a 2,349 square foot guest cottage on the property.
There Are Plenty Of Incredible Hiking Trails
Vancouver Island is the 43rd largest island in the world, and the 11th largest island in Canada. The island has one of the warmest climates in the country and is mild enough to allow lots of plants to flourish along the British Columbia coastline.
There’s plenty of wildlife on the island, including wolves, elk, black bears, deer, and cougars. Neighbors of the Mille Fleurs estate have reported seeing Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan, and baby Archie hiking the trails nearby.
Vancouver Island Offers Excellent Fishing
Vancouver Island has plenty of rivers and lakes that are healthy with fish. Trout, Salmon, and Steelhead can be found in the local fisheries which many of the locals work for. Each year, tons of Pacific salmon are farmed from the area.
The island has several ports and harbors and is mostly known for forestry, although environmental activists are making an effort to slow it down and protect the island’s natural resources.
The Four Acre Estate Ends At Butchart Gardens
The Mille Fleurs estate is just down the road from Butchart Gardens, one of the most famous gardens in the world. Each year, millions of people visit the oasis that’s existed on Vancouver Island for over 100 years.
Butchart Gardens spans 55 acres with 26 greenhouses and 900 plant varieties. The Sussex Royals are sure to pay a visit to this incredible property, just down on the road from their estate in British Columbia.
The Island Has Ferries And An Airport
Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on Canada’s southwestern coast, there aren’t any bridges connecting Vancouver Island to the mainland. Residents and visitors have the option of taking a ferry, a commercial plane, a private plane, or a seaplane, as Meghan did while visiting a women’s shelter on the mainland.
Prince Harry flew into Vancouver Island Airport to join his family after a long 12-hour flight. It’s possible that Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children will pay them a visit. They’ve traveled by seaplane before in 2016 during an eight-day visit to Canada.
Reportedly, The Couple Is Happy And Relaxed
Both Harry and Meghan have reportedly looked happy and relaxed since making the move to British Columbia. Prince Harry was seen with a wide smile as he deboarded the plane at the Vancouver Island airport in mid-January 2020.
After months of internal discussions and one big announcement, the couple appears relieved to have the initial conversations over with. The Sussex Royals aren’t missing a beat settling into their second home in Canada.
July 2016 – They Meet On A Blind Date In London
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were set up on a blind date in 2016 by a mutual friend. Meghan’s American upbringing is attributed to her naivete of the Royal Family. “I didn’t know much about him, so the only thing I asked… was, ‘Well is he nice?'” Meghan told BBC. For his part, Prince Harry hadn’t heard of Meghan Markle until their mutual friend mentioned her name.
Hitting it off instantly, Harry invited Meghan on a trip to Africa just weeks later. “Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other,” Harry said.
October 2016 – Their Relationship Is Made Public
“We had a good five, six months almost with just privacy,” Meghan would later say. News of their courtship leaked on October 31, 2016. Sources told Sunday Express that Prince Harry was dating an American actress named Meghan Markle and that “Harry has been desperate to keep the relationship quiet because he doesn’t want to scare Meghan off.”
On the same day, Meghan Markle posted an Instagram photo of two bananas spooning, which many believe was a huge hint that she was seeing someone special. Around this time, People reported that the actress already met Harry’s father, Prince Charles.
Public Reaction To Their Relationship Was Intense
Both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were blindsided by the strong public reaction to their relationship. Markle told BBC, “There was a misconception that because I have worked in the entertainment industry that this would be something I would be familiar with… But I’ve never been part of tabloid culture. I’ve never been in pop culture to that degree and lived a relatively quiet life.”
Markle went on to say that she tried to avoid reading any press – positive or negative – and instead she decided to focus solely on nurturing her relationship with Harry.
November 2016 – Prince Harry Issues A Statement
Shortly after news of their relationship went public, the media and the public were up in arms. So much so, that Meghan Markle and her inner circle were bombarded with unwanted press and harassment.
It got so bad that Prince Harry had to issue a formal statement from the Royal Household to put a stop to it. “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,” the statement read.
Even Prince William Had Something To Say
After the statement was released, there were rumors that Prince William wasn’t pleased with his younger brother’s public plea. Those rumors prompted another official statement from the Royal Household, this time on behalf of the Duke of Cambridge.
The statement read: “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him.” At the time, sources close to the Princes told the press, “No one wanted to have to put that statement out… But over the course of one weekend things escalated to the extent that Prince Harry felt he had to act.”
December 2016 – Meghan Gets The Queen’s Approval
By the end of 2016, Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly given her approval. A source close to the Royal Family told Us Weekly, “[The Queen is] delighted to see Harry in a loving relationship,” despite not having met Markle yet.
Later, Markle revealed to BBC what it was like to actually meet the Queen: “It’s incredible, to be able to meet her through [Harry’s] lens. Not just with his honor and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother. All of those layers have been so important to me… She’s an incredible woman.”
New Year’s Eve 2016 – They Take A Romantic Vacation Together
The couple spent the first Christmas of their relationship with their respective families but reunited to take a romantic trip to Norway for the New Year’s holiday. Though they tried to keep things extremely private in the past, the couple at this point was able to move as they pleased without sneaking around.
Prince Harry reportedly took Markle to Norway to see the Northern Lights, among other romantic excursions in the Arctic Circle. By then, friends of the couple were already predicting their engagement. “I can see them engaged by the spring. He’s head over heels,” a source told Us Weekly in January 2017.
January 2017 – Meghan Meets The Future King And Queen
After the trip to Norway, Meghan Markle began meeting more people in Prince Harry’s close family. In January 2017, Markle met Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte at their apartment in Kensington Palace. A source told Us Weekly at the time that the meeting “went well” and that “Meghan’s so happy she’s getting to know more of Harry’s nearest and dearest.”
Meghan had already met Prince William the previous November and reportedly got along well with Harry’s older brother. A source told the press back then, “Naturally, William is very happy for his brother.”
Prince Harry Meets The Parents (One Of Them, At Least)
By 2017, Meghan Markle had not only met the Queen, but also the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It was only a matter of time before Prince Harry was due to meet Markle’s family.
Meghan Markle brought her mother, Doria Ragland, out to London to meet the Prince, who told BBC, “Her Mom’s amazing.” Ragland was subsequently seen out with Meghan and Harry on multiple occasions. Later, Meghan revealed that Harry hadn’t met her father, telling BBC, “He’s talked to my dad a few times, hasn’t been able to meet him just yet.”
March 2017 – Meghan Is Harry’s Plus One At A Wedding
The couple grew closer together despite their long-distance relationship. At the time, Markle still spent a significant amount of time in Toronto to film Suits, but during her free time was “virtually living” with Harry at his cottage in Kensington Palace.
Then the couple was seen together in Jamaica to attend the wedding of one of Prince Harry’s close friends. Many people saw Harry’s taking Markle to a wedding as his plus one as a sort of public “coming out” for their relationship. Photos of the couple engaging in PDA at the wedding only confirmed everyone’s suspicions.
April 2017 – Meghan Makes Surprising Changes
Meghan Markle shut down her lifestyle website, The Tig, in April 2017. She told her fans, “What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity.”
People were quick to assume that she did this because of her relationship with Prince Harry, but Markle was simply too busy to maintain it. “The Tig has been a labor of love for Meghan but it’s a full-time job. She wants to focus on this season of Suits, which just starting filming, and spending more time in the field on her philanthropy,” a source told People.
May 2017 – Things Were Getting Quite Serious
Another sign that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship was getting pretty serious was when Markle flew into London in May 2017 – around the time of Pippa Middleton’s wedding. Markle was reportedly taken to Kensington Palace the moment she arrived at Heathrow International Airport.
Markle didn’t attend the younger Middleton’s wedding, but she reportedly went to the reception. Many were shocked since Markle hadn’t been pictured at family events before. The real reason she was there was to support Prince Harry at the Audi Polo Challenge in England, which marked their first official public appearance as a couple.
August 2017 – They Embark On Another African Excursion
By August 2017, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been dating for just over a year. Not only was it Markle’s 36th birthday, but it had also been a year since the couple’s first trip to Africa. They celebrated by revisiting the continent for another romantic getaway.
It’s believed that in Africa, the couple initially bonded over their mutual interests in philanthropy and charity. Africa has a special place in Harry’s heart. It’s where he founded his charity Sentebale, which means “forget me not” in Lesotho, in honor of the late Princess Diana.
September 2017 – Meghan Attends The Invictus Games
Meghan Markle accompanied Prince Harry on an official royal appearance for the first time in September 2017. Together they attended the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, which Prince Harry founded in the U.K. for wounded and disabled servicemen and women.
In 2017, the games were held in Toronto, where Markle was living while filming Suits. Throughout the course of the games, the couple was pictured holding hands and some even spotted them partaking in PDA every now and then. Markle’s mother Doria Ragland was also in attendance for some of the games.
October 2017 – Meghan Tells All In Vanity Fair
A few months later, Meghan Markle graced the October 2017 cover of Vanity Fair and opened up publicly for the first time about her relationship with Prince Harry.
“We’re a couple. We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time. This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story,” Markle said.
November 2017 – Prince Harry Pops The Question
By the end of 2017, everyone was pleased to hear that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were engaged! On November 27, 2017, the news was confirmed by Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles.
An official statement from Prince Charles’s official residence, Clarence House, read: “His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle… His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents.”
How Did Prince Harry Put A Ring On It?
Their formal interview with the BBC came out the same day the official announcement of their engagement was released. The interview started off with the couple recounting how the proposal went down.
Prince Harry actually proposed to Markle a few weeks prior in his cottage at Kensington Palace. “It was just a standard typical night for us,” Harry says before Markle added, “Just a cozy night… Just trying to roast a chicken.” In the midst of making dinner, Markle said that “It was just an amazing surprise, it was so sweet and natural and very romantic.”
She Didn’t Even Let Him Finish The Question
“He got on one knee,” Markle told BBC with a huge smile. Once she knew what was happening, she was so excited that she didn’t even technically let Prince Harry finish his proposal. “It was a really nice moment, it was just the two of us and I think I managed to catch you by surprise as well,” Harry added while looking at Markle.
By then they had dated for a year and a half. At a photo call following their engagement, Prince Harry was asked when he knew Marke was the one. “The very first time we met,” he replied.
May 2018 – Prince Harry And Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot on May 19, 2018 at Windsor Castle. The guests included the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams, and David and Victoria Beckham – not to mention the tens of millions of people around the world who tuned in on their television screens.
Markle wore a stunning Givenchy gown and she borrowed a diamond and platinum tiara from the Queen’s collection. All of Harry and Meghan’s close friends and family were there – with the exception of Markle’s father, Thomas Sr., which is why Prince Charles walked her down the aisle.
October 2018 – Meghan, Duchess Of Sussex, Is Pregnant
Shortly after the wedding, many were quick to peg the newlyweds as expecting parents. On October 15, 2018, everyone’s wish came true when Kensington Palace officially announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting!
At the time, the couple embarked on their first royal tour together, having just arrived in Australia. Meghan Markle was reported to be in good health and gave birth to their son on May 6, 2019. The royal baby is seventh in line for the throne, behind grandpa Prince Charles, uncle Prince William, their cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, and of course their father, Prince Harry.
May 6, 2019 – Baby Archie is Born
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born May 6, 2019, at Portland Hospital in London’s Westminster district. The eighth great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, Archie was introduced to the world two days after his birth on May 8th at Windsor Castle.
Following royal tradition, the gender of the baby wasn’t revealed under after his birth. After Archie was born, Harry and Meghan returned to their residence at Frogmore Cottage, joined by Meghan’s mother Doria.
October 2019 – The Couple’s Private Life Is Always Exposed
The British tabloids continued to hound Meghan and dig into her personal life. Mail published a handwritten letter that Meghan had sent to her father in Mexico. Harry then issued a statement, saying, “I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long.”
Meghan reacted by filing a lawsuit against Mail, filing “over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband.”
January 8, 2020 – Harry and Meghan Announce Their Plans of Stepping Down as Senior Royals
On January 8, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the startling announcement that they will be stepping down from their roles as senior members of the British Royal family. Breaking protocol, the couple issued their statement in an Instagram post that garnered over 1.5 million likes within the first 24 hours and apparently completely blindsided the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William.
While Harry and Meghan appear to be pushing forward on their decision, the palace insisted that the move won’t be so quick, stating there were “complicated issues” that need to be worked out before anything becomes official.
January 14, 2020 – Meghan is Spotted in Canada Boarding a Seaplane
While Prince Harry and the rest of the British Royal Family sorted out “Megxit” as many have started calling Harry and Meghan’s departure, Meghan spent time at a home on Vancouver Island, Canada. It was the same $14 million home that she spent the Christmas holiday in.
The DailyMail reported that the Duchess of Sussex was looking “happy and relaxed” on her way to visit a women’s shelter in Canada’s poorest neighborhood. Meanwhile, Prince Harry and the rest of the British Royal Family worked out the details for Harry and Meghan’s future, back in Britain.
January 19, 2020 – Prince Harry Gives an Emotional Speech
On January 19, Harry addressed the audience at a charity event in London. His emotional statement revealed that he had struggled with the choice to step back from his royal duties and that in order to protect Meghan and Archie from the strain of such a public life, he felt no other option.
“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly,” Harry said. “It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.” He continued, “Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.”
January 13, 2020 – A Royal Summit is Held
On January 13, 2020, the Queen held a “royal summit” so the family could discuss Harry and Meghan’s plans and decide how best to move forward. In attendance were the Queen, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles. After the meeting, Buckingham Palace released a statement declaring that the Queen supports the Sussexes in their decision.
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” the official statement read. A “final decision” regarding the issue will be made in the coming days.
They Plan To “Carve Out A Progressive, New Role”
Prince Harry and Meghan included in their statement that they wanted to “carve out a progressive, new role” in their “new chapter” of life. For people closely following the Royal family, it doesn’t come a surprise to see 35-year-old Harry taking a new direction.
On the 20th anniversary of his mother’s death, Harry said in an interview that he had long thought about leaving his royal duties behind. In a 2017 interview with Newsweek, PrinceHarry said, “I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself.”
They Made The Decision For Their Son
News of the couple’s departure from their senior roles follows their first child’s birth. In an interview before the couple became pregnant, Harry said that he wishes for his children to have a normal life, not like the one that he experienced growing up.
Harry told ITV, “I am determined to have a relatively normal life and if I am lucky enough to have children they can have one too. We don’t want to be just a bunch of celebrities but instead use our role for good.”