The Duke and Duchess of Sussex considered moving to New Zealand before they settled on moving to the US, the Queen’s representative in the country has said.
Prince Harry and Meghan discussed the move during a visit in 2018, more than a year before they stepped back from royal duties and moved to the US, governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy said.
The couple visited New Zealand at the end of a 16-day royal tour of the South Pacific in 2018, less than six months after they married.
Harry and Meghan were said to be impressed with the access to the outdoors and their interactions with New Zealanders. Pic: AP
“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,” Dame Patsy said.
“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.
“They were looking at how they might raise their family. And obviously they’ve made some decisions since.”
Dame Patsy said the couple seemed impressed with the access to the outdoors and their interactions with New Zealanders.
During an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, in which Meghan made explosive claims that there were “concerns” raised about her baby boy Archie’s skin colour before he was born, the pair said they had offered to take a step back from royal life in a Commonwealth country such as South Africa or New Zealand.
Dame Patsy said she had watched the interview, but did not want to comment on internal royal family matters.
“I thought they were a lovely couple and I hope they’ve got a great future where they are,” she said.
Sky’s Royal Correspondent has seen the latest royal report, which raises questions to Harry’s claim the couple were cut off.
Dame Patsy, 67, said she regularly expresses her confidential views about what is happening in New Zealand to the Queen.
The communication, she said, “is quite touchingly old-fashioned, by letter”.
“She has told me on the times that I’ve seen her that she finds it interesting to have a personal perspective on what’s happening,” Dame Patsy said.
“As she says, ‘I like to know what’s happening between the lines’.”