When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in May 2018 it was assumed that the couple would base themselves permanently in Britain.
After all the Queen had even given them Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor Great Park, as their marital home, with a refurbishment and redecoration programme for the property, eventually costing the taxpayer £2.4 million.
But the Duchess of Sussex’s commitment to living in Britain may not have been as wholehearted as previously supposed.
It has now emerged that when she left her home in Toronto, where the LA born actress was based for seven years during the filming of the legal drama Suits, she left behind an entire wardrobe of clothes.
The revelation suggests the couple may have always been planning to spend much of their time across the Atlantic, long before their shock announcement earlier this month that they wanted to step back as senior members of the Royal family.
Citing a first-hand source, Canada’s Entertainment Tonight TV channel has reported that when Meghan Markle moved to London in November 2017 to live with Prince Harry, initially at Kensington Palace’s Nottingham Cottage, she packed up her clothes and put them into storage in Toronto for use at a later date.
Furthermore it reports that a significant proportion of the clothes she left behind, including some of those outfits she wore on Suits, have now been shipped to the home they couple have rented on Vancouver Island.
That follows the decision by palace officials to redeploy two of the staff employed at Frogmore to Windsor Castle. Other staff, including a chef and maids who were employed part-time, were told they will no longer be needed.
The clothes which Meghan left in storage in Canada when she moved to the UK and which she has worn since her return include a black cashmere beanie, a parka by Soia & Kyo, a Barbour “Epler” coat and the “Bea” cable knit sweater from The Row.
Jamie Samhan, ET Canada’s online editor, writes: “While it was known the Duchess put her furniture into storage, it was said at the time she took all her personal items with her.
“It also begs the question, did Meghan always plan on returning to North America in some capacity? Many have raised doubts around the step down of being senior royals and that both Prince Harry and Meghan had been planning this for some time.
“The two did give the full royal life a go, but perhaps they always considered having a Canadian abode.”
The Epler coat was worn by Meghan on one of her first public appearances since returning to Canada, when she was photographed boarding a seaplane on Vancouver Island. The cable-knit swing sweater from the Row which she for the flight is thought to be the same one she wore on Suits, in Season 3, Episode 9.
She was previously seen wearing the faux fur parka while on her way to a Yoga class in Toronto in 2017, shortly after returning from a holiday in Jamaica with Harry.
It came after the Duchess’ close friend in Toronto, Jessica Mulroney, shared a quote on Instagram, interpreted as showing support for Meghan’s separation from the rest of the Royal family, which read: “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.”
On leaving her husband, Prince Harry, 35, in the UK to begin the complex negotiations over their break away from the Royal Family, the Duchess got down to business, visiting two charities in Vancouver - Justice For Girls and the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre.
Photographed wearing some of the clothes she had left behind in Canada the Duchess spoke to staff who help run a shelter used by hundreds of vulnerable women.
The refuge is linked to a charity initiative called the Shoebox Project, co-founded by Ms Mulroney