Parting ways with the United Kingdom’s royal family may have been in the works for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex before the new year. Harry and Meghan’s absence from annual holiday traditions has some speculating the final nail was hammered into the coffin around Christmas.
Following their historic announcement to step away from their duties as senior royals and become financially independent, Queen Elizabeth confirmed on Monday that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will now split their time between Canada and the U.K.
And although Los Angeles was not a part of the Queen’s statement earlier this week, the Sussexes just might end up in the Golden State as Markle, 38, has several ties to the city.
Not only does the former “Suits” actress hail from LA, but her mom, Doria Ragland, still lives in the city. In addition, it was recently reported that Markle signed a voiceover deal with Disney in exchange for a donation to a nonprofit. The entertainment company’s headquarters is based in Burbank, Calif.
Fox News spoke with Los Angeles-based attorney Christopher Melcher about the extent of privacy that Markle, Prince Harry and the couple’s 8-month-old son Archie might receive should they occasionally visit the city or any location in the United States.
“Privacy laws in England are highly protective and elevate the rights of the individual over the press,” said Melcher, a partner at Walzer Melcher family law. “English law can prohibit the publication of information about an individual, especially a child.”
In contrast, according to Melcher, “in our Constitution, the U.S. rejected governmental interference with the press, giving it the right to publish information subject to few restrictions.”
Melcher says that when Markle and Harry, 35, are in the United States, “they will not have the protections they do at home. “
“Paparazzi will find a way to take photos of them while in public, which may be unflattering,” Melcher said. “This could be a more harmful environment than they are trying to leave and expose them to more scrutiny than could exist at home.”
However, Melcher pointed out that California specifically has “adopted more stringent laws against paparazzi,” which prohibit them from “following individuals, entering private property, or using drones to photograph private or family activities.”
According to Melcher, some parts of these laws have been tested and deemed constitutional, while others have not.
“Profits motivate behavior, so paparazzi will continue to push the envelope and challenge legal attempts to stop them. Celebrities spend enormous sums on security to maintain their privacy and safety. The royal couple will be no different while they are in the U.S., having to foot the bill for that security,” he said.
Meanwhile, Canada offers plenty of perks for the world’s famous couple trying to raise their firstborn son.
Vancouver-based Roger McConchie, the founding partner of McConchie Law, told Fox News that British Columbia, where Vancouver Island is located, can provide Harry and Markle a refuge from the ruthless paparazzi.
Last week, the Sussexes shocked the world when they announced that they were stepping back as senior members of the royal family.
Since then, the queen’s aides have been tirelessly working over the last few days to finalize how the couple will exit the royal family.
According to sources who spoke with the Evening Standard, a statement from Buckingham Palace is reportedly imminent.
The issues within the family that still need to be ironed out include the level of security the Sussexes’ will have, use of their royal titles, how many months they will live in the United Kingdom and Canada per year, and how they plan to be financially independent.
Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report