Archie is believed to have stayed with Meghan's close friend Jessica Mulroney

By Stephanie Petit
January 09, 2020 01:01 PM

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently returned to England — but their 8-month-old son Archie wasn’t with them.

PEOPLE understands that Archie remained in Canada while the couple flew to London, where they made their first appearance of the new year at Canada House on Tuesday to thank the country for hosting them during their holiday getaway. Meghan, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, plan to return to Canada and reunite with their son soon.

It is believed that Archie stayed with Meghan’s close pal Jessica Mulroney, whose three children served as page boys and a flower girl in the couple’s royal wedding in May 2018. Shortly after the couple made their shocking announcement that they intended to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” in order to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution” on Wednesday, Jessica appeared to voice her support via an Instagram post.

Sussex Royals

The Canadian stylist shared a quote from American filmmaker Gina Carey: “A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.”

Harry, Meghan and Archie spent Thanksgiving and Christmas on Vancouver Island, where they had valuable time with Meghan’s mom Doria Ragland and close friends who came to visit them at their remote vacation home.

It was there that the couple posed for their family Christmas greetings and an adorable photo — taken by Meghan — of proud dad Harry and little Archie were captured.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Archie
Toby Melville/WireImage

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During their visit to the Canada House in London, Meghan revealed that Archie was in awe of the natural beauty of Canada.

“Just to be able to take in the warmth that we experienced from the people but also just to walk around and just see the beauty of Canada,” she told staff. “To see Archie go ‘ahhh’ when you walk by and just see how stunning it is, so it meant a lot to us.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty

The couple have history with the North American country, which is part of the Commonwealth, a group of nations with close ties to the Crown. Meghan called Toronto home for years while she filmed her hit USA legal drama Suits, and she was living there when she and Harry first began dating. The couple’s first public appearance together was in support of Harry’s Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at 2017 Invictus Games
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

In their bombshell announcement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they are making plans to split their time between the U.K. and North America.

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote on Instagram. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”

“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”

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