The Sussexes apparently talked about living in New Zealand back in Fall ’18

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a dedication of a 20-hectare site

During the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Oprah interview, they kind of oversold the idea that they never wanted to move out of the UK, that they never had plans to Sussexit before the situation became so dire for them in the fall and winter of 2019. I’m not saying that they were lying, but I do believe they oversold the “we never thought about getting business deals” part of it. But the issue which had a lot more nuance and backstory was the history behind “did Harry and Meghan want to leave the UK long before the Sussexit?” Part of it wasn’t even up to them and they weren’t even pushing many of those conversations. In the spring of 2019, there was solid, legitimate reporting that Prince William was actively arguing that Harry and Meghan needed to be exiled away from Britain, and I 100% believe that there were plans afoot to eventually send H&M away, to Canada, Australia or an African commonwealth country. Perhaps Harry & Meghan wanted to leave long before the Sussexit too, but I think that “desire” was mostly because they knew people were plotting against them.

Why am I bringing this up? Because during Meghan and Harry’s South Pacific tour, they fell in love with New Zealand and told the Governor-General that they would love to live there at some point. And that is being used as “evidence” that they were lying about always planning to live in the UK or something.

The queen’s representative in New Zealand said Prince Harry and Meghan discussed moving to the South Pacific country during their 2018 visit, more than a year before the couple stepped back from royal duties and moved to the United States.

Reddy, 67, will leave her largely ceremonial role representing the queen in New Zealand in October after a 5-year term. A lawyer who was given the honorific Dame for her services to arts and business, Reddy officially signs bills into law, presides over many public ceremonies and tours the country, meeting with various groups including Indigenous Maori.

Harry and Meghan visited New Zealand at the end of a hectic 16-day royal tour of the South Pacific, and Reddy recalled the couple as being tired.

“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. 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.”

Reddy said she didn’t view it as a formal request for assistance but more of an informal discussion about the couple’s hopes for the future. She said the pair seemed impressed with the access to the outdoors and their interactions with New Zealanders. Still, the discussion shows the couple were considering options outside of Britain less than six months after they married and well before their eventual move to the U.S.

[From The Associated Press]

How dare two people travel to some far-flung, beautiful country and wonder aloud if they could even see themselves building a life in paradise? It’s called being on vacation! People always have those kinds of day-dreams of “I would love to live in Hawaii” or “it would be paradise to live full-time by the beach.” For the love of God. I’ve already seen some royal reporters try to use this as evidence that Harry and Meghan were clearly PLOTTING to abscond into the night and set up a sandwich shop in New Zealand.

The Duke of Sussex and Duchess of Sussex visit the Redwoods Treewalk in Rotorua

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Te Papaiouru Marae in Rotorua, New Zealand

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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56 Responses to “The Sussexes apparently talked about living in New Zealand back in Fall ’18”

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  1. Merricat says:

    Every time I go to a place I’ve never been, if I find it beautiful, I immediately start looking at real estate and schools and jobs and etc. We have actually moved twice to places we’ve visited on vacation.

    • Karen for Klobuchar says:

      Sometimes places seem great when you’re on holiday because you’re on holiday. But the daily grind of living there and going work would take the gloss off them.

    • Snuffles says:

      Same! If I walked past a real estate office that had pictures of available homes or rentals, I would stop and muse about the possibilities.

    • Em says:

      Right? I’ve moved to Prague, Playa del Carmen, and England simply because I visited and fell in love. Italy next – its not a conspiracy.

    • liz says:

      Oh, so true! I can’t tell you how many real estate websites for places like Ireland and Barbados I’ve looked at over the years. “I could retire here!” I don’t think it’s actually going to happen.

    • Christine says:

      Same here! I have dreams of living everywhere but where I currently live, because DREAMS. And I say that outloud to the locals of wherever I am. This is such a non-story, but I know per the usual, the British media is going to make this into something Meghan should hang for.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I do that, too! And then once I see what I’m up against, I scale back my dreams. Although I did live in Hawaii for six years, that was lovely.

  2. Elizabeth Regina says:

    I am so glad they left plague island. Paedrew is being sued so cue the negative stories. Truth is at this point no one who isn’t a racist does not care. The Sussexes are too booked and busy to be bothered now.

  3. paranormalgirl says:

    I felt the same exact way when I traveled to New Zealand. Yet here I am, a decade later, still basically living in the US. I’m still trying my damndest to retire to the Bahamas and we have a place there. LOL.

  4. smegmoria says:

    I had the privilege of going to New Zealand as a teenager. It is the most beautiful place. I would imagine that most people who visit would fantasize about moving there.

  5. equality says:

    Wasn’t their original plan to be half-in and spend half of the year in the UK and half in the Commonwealth? I don’t see how this disputes what they themselves have said. If they had come to such terms with the RF, maybe NZ was under consideration. Once they knew it was to be completely out, they decided with their deals that California would be a better home base.

    • notasugarhere says:

      They had to get out of Canada because 1) neither is a Canadian citizen and 2) borders were closing with COVID. They moved to her home state near her mother, in a country where she and their son are citizens. That was the option, in the face of a global pandemic and their citizenships. The deals came later, when they had to figure out how to pay security and support themselves.

  6. Oh_Hey says:

    I don’t know why this offhand comment about “wanting to live there” is the new “she was always going to leave!!!”. If there’s proof they were being pushed out at the same time its even less damaging as it looks like making a deal to serve time but picking your prison location.

    On the point of private deals – I don’t care. Not when Charles is renting land, getting Duchy money etc. or if the Tindalls are off making milk commercials in Japan. Fergie gets to write her helicopter books and a story broke last week that Camilla’s nephew was literally selling access to her and Chaz. Spare me.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    This is a normal reaction when people visit other places. It was not a statement of intent. I think what is forgotten a lot is Harry and Meghan wanted to live part-time in the UK, it was never their intention to leave the UK totally. I also think for awhile they never thought of leaving the Royal Family but circumstances and incidents made it that they had to leave. The family was thinking of exiling them to an African country not Canada, NZ or Australia because they would be too popular in those countries that was reported in the Sunday Times. It shows that the Royal Family is very much racist. I think Harry and Meghan knew of the family’s desire for them to live outside of the UK and took them up on their offer, only for the Palace to turn around and say they couldn’t do that.

  8. Jessie Quinton says:

    They are really going to sling as much mud as possible to the Sussexes and the York sisters to distract from the Cambridges and Prince Andrew shenanigans, huh?

  9. Lila says:

    This is the best they’ve got to distract from Andrew?!

    • Amy Bee says:

      This story was first reported about a week ago. It didn’t get any traction in the British press because it was a non-story and it’s what most people say when they visit a new place. Maybe the British press will resurrect it to distract from Andrew.

    • nina says:

      That barrel has been scraped clean. There is nothing left but wood splinters.

      On another note, this is one legal problem mummy cant make disappear for pedo-prince. His goose is cooked. Mummy will probably lobby parliament to pass a law protecting him from any judgment that Victoria Guiffre gets.

      I hope she don’t settle like she did with Ghislaine.

  10. Rai says:

    During the interview, I remember Meghan saying they had conversations with the firm about moving outside the UK but were shut down. It wasn’t clear if the move was shut down as part of the half in/half out approach but she absolutely talked about it…after this past year, I bet Charles wished he’d taken them up on it…

  11. ABritGuest says:

    In the Oprah interview Meghan literally said said “We were saying, ‘OK, if this isn’t working for everyone, we’re in a lot of pain, you can’t provide us with the help we need, we can just take a step back. We can do it in a Commonwealth country’. We suggested New Zealand, South Africa..Canada”

    So this isn’t new information & they didn’t oversell anything. It seems their proposal as set out on their website was to split time between U.K. & a CW country. In that Tim Shipman article from April 2019 it said that govt ministers were trying to work out plans for them to be like roving ambassadors abroad. It was probably off back of that KP was saying to send them to Africa.

    Canada was likely final destination agreed which is why they got a place there. But when the plan leaked & they announced they were stepping back which pissed off the palace, it then moved to you are either in or out& that’s when they stepped back completely & then moved to Meghan’s home state.

    • MF1 says:

      It seems like they were trying to so hard to find a compromise. Ultimately, I’m glad they’re 100% out and not living in the CW. The firm is a rat’s nest–nothing good would have come of them staying half in.

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      Some folks have a vested interest in perpetuating lies against M&H. Everyone wants clicks and $.

  12. MsIam says:

    Didn’t Harry say he wished he could live somewhere in Africa too and supposedly that was part of his attraction to Chelsey? My, my the Sussexes thought New Zealand was beautiful and wished they could live there. The scandal!

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      It had nothing to do with his attraction for chelsey and everything to do with his own self-care, healing and growth….the sense of community he felt in Botswana & Lesotho, in particular, throughout his teens and twenties as he tried (& sometimes didnt try) to come to terms with his mother’s death..

  13. S808 says:

    I don’t understand this “they were always planning to leave!1!1!1!!” outrage when everyone wanted them gone.

  14. Becks1 says:

    LOL. I have never been to NZ, but I can imagine visiting a place that beautiful and thinking, “I never want to leave.” And maybe they were thinking more seriously than that – maybe it was more like “what a lovely place to have a house to spend holidays” or something, especially during the UK winters. Or maybe it was just idle “oh this place is lovely” kind of talk.

    And considering that William was actively trying to exile them to “Africa” and that their original proposal for the half in/half out involved spending time in the commonwealth – yeah, I can see that NZ was maybe a consideration. William probably thought “Africa” would isolate them more than NZ.

    (I’m putting Africa in quotes like that bc it is still mind-boggling to me that the story was just “Africa,” like its not a huge continent with many different countries.)

    • Snuffles says:

      Knowing William, he probably wanted to send him to the most remote African location he can think of with no press and limited internet access. Have them so cut off from resources that they would have to depend on The Firm for even the basics. His goal was to isolate and control them as much as possible.

      • Carmen-JamRock says:

        If WillNot had a brain, he could easily identify a most remote location right there in stagnant britain, where theyre completely off the grid, no running water or indoor plumbing and where they still p*ss in pots and throw it out the window in the morning.

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      I am a bit surprised that the tabloids never mentioned Kenya, or that traditional den of UK aristo sin called Happy Valley. It would be an archaic reference, but that’s on par with RRs and the aristocracy.

  15. Abena Asantewaa says:

    A non-story!

  16. Over it says:

    Well maybe they went to New Zealand , met all these nice normal people who weren’t criticizing them for breathing and thought awww, boy this is so refreshing. I would love to live in a normal part of the commonwealth who accept us for being human

  17. Ainsley7 says:

    Harry had expressed a desire to move away from the UK before he had even met Meghan. He’d already been spending 3+ months in Botswana every year. I don’t think there was a push to exile the Sussexes. I know there were reports, but I don’t think all reports are true. I think they legitimately wanted to live in a commonwealth country. I think there was probably an off hand comment by Will and such. He’s too controlling to have actually wanted H&M to leave. Will probably spun it to act like he was in control. The Sussexes talked about possibly moving to South Africa in their documentary about their visit. Meghan living in Canada for work doesn’t mean she enjoyed the cold. They seem to be warm weather people. It makes sense that they were thinking of moving to a warmer climate.

    • notasugarhere says:

      William was absolutely working to exile them, once he figured out he couldn’t control them and steal all the funds they raised for charity. In his colonial mindset, he wanted them exiled to ‘Africa’ because he thinks of it all as one massive hunting preserve like Jecca’s family land. He has no concept of the modern nations of Africa, but he definitely worked hard to get Harry and Meghan 1) out of the UK and 2) silenced. His living nightmare is what we have now. Harry and Meghan free from his control and globally embraced.

      • Pinellas Pixie says:

        And so original of him – send the black duchess to Africa. He is so awful and so predictable in his awfulness.

    • Nic919 says:

      The Tim Shipman article is the most credible one since he isn’t an RR and it clearly stated that William was working to have Harry and Meghan live somewhere in Africa.

      • Becks1 says:

        And remember the Sussexes responded to that – saying that any moves would be their decision or something (maybe they referenced the queen and charles) and basically William had no say. My working theory is that they were discussing potentially moving even PT to a commonwealth country like new zealand and William was afraid that would just add to their popularity AND put them beyond his control, so he started pushing the Africa narrative, thinking that would dampen their popularity and keep them under his thumb (because like Nota said above he has no idea of modern Africa, he just had this vision of them living in a remote cabin somewhere dependent on him).

  18. Amy Bee says:

    I look forward to Harry talking about his family’s plan to exile him and Meghan to “Africa” in his book.

  19. L4Frimaire says:

    I think the UK will be forever stuck in 2018/2019 when it comes to the Sussexes. They really can’t get over the fact that they are no longer there, won’t be there, don’t want to be there. In their mind, everything was great but scheming Meghan ruined it all by refusing to be a human piñata.

  20. Margaret says:

    More distraction from andrew.

  21. Cessily says:

    Every time I go to Hawaii, I swear I’m staying.. along with Italy and absolutely every beach I visit.. that is the joy of traveling ..They truly will make up scandals where ever they wish.

  22. Lizzie says:

    Completely normal thing to do and say. I do the same on vacation. And some people continually remind everyone that Harry is A SPARE – so he can live where he wants to.

  23. Jay says:

    Every single person I have met who has been to New Zealand says they would love to live there – it’s not evidence of some long con!

    If Meghan and Harry had truly wanted to live somewhere else and strike business deals instead of working on behalf of the crown, they could have done so much more easily by saying so right off the bat. There was no need and no benefit to them that I can see to start out as part of the royal family and then go through the long, painful, public process of breaking ties.

    Folks from Salty Isle appear to be missing the point here – what exactly was happening in the UK as early as 2018 that would have had the Sussexes start looking for an exit?

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      This is exactly what H said in the Dax Sheperd podcast: when the nasty naysayers and haters start pushing hate and laies, turn it back on them and ask, whats your agenda/ Who are you working for? What happened to you?

  24. Consey says:

    New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth. Doesn’t he represent them? Upon their successful Oceania the Sussex got kicked out by DDOC. The lies got worse. The have a senior royal that’s given a dump; which the RR thought it to be funny. Pregnant, work, bullying and has to renovate a home. I personally think they gave them 2 choices. Be the whipping couple and live well or GTFO. GTFO right choice. Easter 19 Sun article DDOC to exile DDOS! Their done. People liked Diana more then that family. Harry’s treatment and USA attacked along with that St. George pendant is disgusting. Yet their not racist.

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      Dont perpetuate nonsense that the cambitches “kicked out” the Sussexes. Willnot & Khannot cant make any decisions thats not first run through a committee of palace courtiers/aids/servants. They dont even outrightly own their own pot to p*ss in. And they definitely have no authority to “kick out” any member of the BRF.

  25. Noor says:

    The outgoing governor general wants to go out with a bang.

    The easiest way to get international media attention is to adopt a negative bent on Prince Harry and Meghan. Despicable.

  26. ChattyCath says:

    Vividly remember a press article saying ‘Africa is their natural place’ which I thought bl**** insulting. It was a quote from Prince William but sorry I can’t remember the paper or the journalist. Wasn’t too long after they married though.

  27. Gina says:

    British Press is actively trying to rewrite history, to pass the blame of chasing Sussexes out of the country to Royal family, but mostly to the Sussexes themselves. This is so transparent. We’ve read the articles about how M&H tried to check the possibility of deals with various companies while being working Royals, how Meghan had “the agenda” and was plotting to “kidnap” Harry from the beginning, and now this.

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      Youre so right. Which is why I’m looking forward to H’s memoir and keeping my fingers crossed that shortly thereafter, M’s own memoir will be launched…..not announced a year in advance, but with an announcement of its available date the day before its available.

  28. Catherine says:

    Connecting this to their eventual departure is a mistake in the same way as connecting them talking to Netflix about projects to their eventual Netflix contract. A project is not the same as working contract and potentially living in a commonwealth country is not the same as not being working royals and living in the US. Before Harry married Meghan. He spent extensive time traveling he openly talked about preferring being outside UK. There was talk that his “role” was going to be working around the commonwealth because his tours were always so successful. During his 2016 Caribbean tour the carnival was openly talking about that. During their engagement interview, they both talked about working/traveling around the commonwealth. Harry was named a commonwealth ambassador. They were given the Queens commonwealth trust. During the South Africa doc. Harry said they weren’t planning to move there but that it would be nice to have a base there because of all the work they wanted to do there. When the exile rumors came out. It was confirmed that they were looking into spending a few months a year there. Even now that they are out. Harry every chance he gets mentions the commonwealth. When they announced they were leaving they offered a half in/half out model. So them spending time outside the UK was not a secret and certainly does not equate to them planning Sussexit. Remember even those plans were leaked. So their actual departure wasn’t even really on a timetable that they chose. There actions to me look like a couple who realized there were problems but were trying to figure out how to make it work. Trying to figure out a compromise.

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      All that you said! Which is why i so hope that H’s memoir will blow wide open the royal curtains and name some of those shadowy courtiers now hiding behind “the queen” and doing their machinations….feeding these little pits of lies to the carnival of clowns to muddy the waters around the Sussexes.

  29. Sunnyvale says:

    I’ve said it awhile back that they won’t be living in UK for long and now with their tenancy agreement ending in March 2022 it’s very likely they’ll buy holiday home elsewhere. I said we might see them getting a chateau with vineyard or some existing business model in France or Italy but unlikelyin a commonwealth country. Eitherway its v unlikely they’d buy it in UK
    RRs are stupid to think this would somehow damage the sussexs credibility. If anything it proves how they TRIED to please the courtiers/RF by considering a commonwealth country for the half in deal(thank god that never happened)

  30. SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

    This is pretty much a standard conversation with any prominent person who visits NZ. As soon as they hit ground at the airport reporters and officials are badgering them about what they think of New Zealand, and god help them if they don’t gush and say it’s the most wonderful place ever. I doubt that there were any really serious plans, they were just being tactful.

    Bonus gossip: I know for a fact that on the Queen’s last visit, the Governor-General’s wife’s corgi widdled on Her Maj’s bed.

  31. Athena says:

    Throughout this pandemic year+ I’ve fantasize about moving to New Zealand. They just seem to have their act together about the pandemic, about gun control, quality of life, you name it.