Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holds a gift from a member of the public as she walks along Kingfisher Bay Jetty with Britain’s Prince Harry during a visit to Fraser Island, Australia, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

Vancouver Island mayor says royals chose ideal spot to ponder future

North Saanich’s Geoff Orr said he likes to think the beaches, forests played a part in the decision

A local mayor says Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose the perfect place to rest and relax over the holiday season before announcing their decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family.

North Saanich Mayor Geoff Orr says privacy is one of the hallmarks of the district and he likes to think the majestic beaches and forests he visited as a child played a part in the couple’s decision.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly spent the holidays at a secluded beachfront villa in North Saanich, but that didn’t stop them from getting out and exploring the community as they were spotted by locals hiking and checking out markets.

Orr says he’s pleased community residents gave the royals the privacy they desire and he wants them to know they are welcome now that the couple say they will spend more time in North America.

Meghan, who is American, has returned to Canada, where the former actress has long-standing ties after living in Toronto while filming the TV show “Suits.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry stopped by during Christmas visit, Victoria-area shop owner reveals

Victoria resident Asymina Kantorowicz says the duke and duchess have already proved to be good neighbours, volunteering to snap selfies of her and her boyfriend on a New Year’s Day hike in North Saanich.

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: COVID-19 contact tracing app offers innovative approach

App designed to help monitor spread of pandemic in Canada

Dry Lake wildfire now classified as held

Wildfire was burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen pays nearly $8 million in wages

Figures included in latest Statement of Financial Information

Democracy costs Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen more than $500,000

Remuneration and expenses paid to chair, directors and alternate directors comes to $542,588

Okanagan set for thunderstorms before sunny weekend

Thunderstorms are predicted to give way to a hot, sunny weekend around Kelowna

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

Masks urged for some students returning to Vernon schools

Phase two sees students return full-time Sept. 8

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Water draws Okanagan artists together for exhibit

Gallery Vertigo open house Saturday for Spirit of Water

Most Read