Meghan and Harry face support and excitement in Canada following royal announcement

11 January 2020, 02:56 | Updated: 11 January 2020, 20:58

The Duchess of Sussex is in Canada - lying low following an explosive week.

It comes amid unconfirmed reports that the Duke of Sussex may also fly out of the UK to Canada next week.

In Toronto, the city where she starred in the legal drama Suits and lived before moving to the UK, there is a mix of feverish excitement and laid-back support surrounding the royal couple's surprise announcement that they want to divide their time between the UK and North America.

On the set of the CTV talk-show The Social, Canada's equivalent to Loose Women, a star panel is weighing up a whole host of options open to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they prepare to step back from royal duties.

They're already debating the opening chapter of their book, a Beyonce soundtrack to their lives, presenting awards.

It's a heady prospect of glitz, glamour and influence, and the audience seem to be lapping it up.

One of the hosts, Lainey Liu, a celebrated royal watcher here, believes the future could well be bright, however tough the break may have been.

She says: "I think that this decision wasn't taken lightly and if they had to make it, it must have been because things were unworkable. But I'm also really excited.

"Nothing like this has ever been done before. They're working out a new role and they're imagining a new position for themselves.

"As a watcher, as a citizen of the world, I think that could be really fresh."

Liu thinks they will embrace interviews and lucrative deals that expand on their brand and believes there's plenty of appetite for it.

She's keen to point out that the Duchess of Sussex is no novice, but a graduate and actress who knows how to make things work for herself.

She also thinks the royal couple will have more privacy in the country. "Canadians are a little more discreet and we kind of love when people love our country," she says.

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Across town, at Magic Cheese, where yes, Meghan apparently used to shop, I hear a similar sentiment.

Jay Luther, who works in the shop in this bustling hipster enclave of the city, tells me, "It really depends on the life they want to lead, but there are definitely places to hide."

Just a few doors down, at Blackbird Baking Co, where Meghan also liked to go, Emilia is unsurprised the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to make a break.

And she's unconvinced anyone, however great, could have fundamentally changed the Royal Family.

"I don't know if it can be modernised. It's a pretty historical, imperialist institution," she says.

Everyone we spoke to had a sort of supportive, protective but pretty relaxed approach to the news the actress who once called Toronto home might possibly return here with her husband.

But no one of course yet knows exactly where or how they will find their place. And this corner of Canada seems to think they should be left alone to work it out for themselves.