Royals

The extraordinary lengths Canadian locals have gone to, to protect Harry and Meghan's privacy

This can only have reinforced for the royal couple that they made the right decision to leave their royal life behind.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's desire for a life lived out of the spotlight led them to Canada. And where privacy was deemed their number one priority, it seems they've gone to the right place.
Vancouver Island locals - both media and non-media alike - have gone out of their way to allow the couple their privacy - so much so that that in itself has made global headlines.
The Victoria Times Colonist, the biggest newspaper on Vancouver Island, stunned many by opting not to generate stories on Harry and Meghan during their six-week stay in the area over the Christmas/New Year period, and in the days they were recently there.
The paper's editor and publisher Dave Obee has explained: "Their connection to our island is worthy of note, but their day-to-day existence here is not. Let them be."
Meanwhile, water taxi operators have refused to transport paparazzi who have descended on the area since the couple left the UK.
Arsenault of Bay to Bay Charters has become something of a celebrity after refusing to transport a Japanese TV crew keen to film the exterior of their house.
"It wasn't a difficult decision for me, [I thought] give the kids a break," Arsenault told news.com.au from Vancouver Island. "If I lost business by turning down the paparazzi, that was fine by me.
"I didn't have any desire to invade their privacy, their home. And a home is where you can let your hair down. I think it's very brave of them to walk away from the royal family. They're just real people."
Meghan was reportedly so grateful to Arsenault she phoned him and thanked him personally.
"I thought that was just so real. She didn't have to do that, you know," he said.
Other water taxi companies have also followed his lead and one Airbnb host turned down press looking to book their property.
Deep Cove Market, a cafe close to the royals' borrowed $20 million home has a sign reading "No press zone", according to the Globe and Mail.
A Market staffer told the publication: "They keep coming and coming. They don't seem to understand the meaning of the word 'no'."
Meanwhile, residents have reportedly set up a Facebook page to log the location of photographers, to help the Sussex security team.
Gestures like this can only reinforce for the couple, who are currently in the UK doing their final round of royal engagements, that they've made the right decision to leave royal life behind them.
In the weeks before they made their bombshell announcement that they'd be stepping back as senior royals, both admitted they were "not okay", and had been struggling with their mental health.
Meghan told ITV News presenter Tom Bradby during the Sussexes' southern Africa tour that she never thought being a royal would be easy, but she thought it would be fair.
"I've said for a long time to H – that's what I call him," Meghan said, "it's not enough to just survive something, right? Like that's not the point of life.
"You've got to thrive, you've got to feel happy, and I think I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip.
"I tried, I really tried," she said.
"The biggest thing that I know is that I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair. And that's the part that's really hard to reconcile."
Meanwhile, Harry said the constant presence of the paparazzi was a continuous reminder of one of the hardest times of his life – the death of his mother Princess Diana.
Prince Harry later revealed that he had felt there had been no other option.
"The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change," he explained in a speech at a private fundraiser at The Ivy Chelsea Garden in aid of his charity Sentebale.
"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding.
"Unfortunately, that wasn't possible. I've accepted this... But I hope that helps you understand what it had to come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.
"I was born into this life, and it is a great honour to serve my country and the queen. When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing. You've looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us."
While some have accused the couple of being selfish, many more have applauded them for having the courage to make the best decision for themselves and their son, 10-month-old Archie.