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Duke of Sussex ‘feared meltdown if Meghan had to stay in UK’

‘On the brink’: Duchess of Sussex PICTURE: GETTY

PRINCE HARRY is desperate to move abroad with his wife because he fears she will have a ‘meltdown’ if they remain in the UK, it has been claimed.

A friend said that the Duke of Sussex was the driving force behind the couple’s decision to ‘step back’ as senior royals and divide their time between the UK and North America due to his growing concern that Meghan was ‘on the brink’.

It could be the reason why the shock statement announcing their decision was made on Wednesday night without consulting the Queen or Prince Charles.

The friend spoke out after the duchess told an ITV documentary last year that it was a ‘struggle’ being a new mum in the spotlight. The duke also told of his own difficulties in coping with life as a royal and the impact of the death of his mother Princess Diana.

Reports at the weekend claimed the Queen has grown concerned about her grandson’s mental state.

The couple are reportedly considering spending a large part of their time in Canada, where Meghan lived for many years when she was an actress filming the TV show Suits.

They made their announcement after returning to the UK from a six-week break in North America, where they spent Christmas at an £11million mansion on Canada’s Vancouver Island.

The couple left behind their two pet dogs and son Archie, who has been looked after by a nanny. Los Angeles-born Meghan flew back to Canada on Friday and her husband is expected to join her soon.

The friend told The Sun on Sunday: ‘The statement was rushed out and part of the reason for that is that Harry knew he needed to take swift action. Meghan has not settled in the UK and he knows that and wants her to be happy. And it has got worse recently, with their spell in Canada helping to cement her view that the family would be better off out of the spotlight and spending more time there.’

They added: ‘He feared staying in the UK too long would lead to Meghan having a meltdown. That is why things moved so quickly.’

The duchess has also reportedly told friends she found the atmosphere in Britain to be ‘toxic’.

Meg takes budget flight as she racks up air miles

‘Thank you’: Meghan and Harry leaving Canada House, London PICTURE: WIREIMAGE

THE Duchess of Sussex took long-distance flights between Britain and Canada just days apart — one of them on a £134 ticket with Westjet.

Harry and Meghan flew to the UK early last week after six weeks on Vancouver Island and spent Tuesday saying thank you at Canada’s High Commission.

They also paid a private visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen in west London, run by a group of Grenfell supporting women whose cookbook was backed by Meghan.

But after criticism last summer that they took four private jet journeys in 11 days — despite campaigning on climate change — Meghan opted to fly back to Canada to be with son Archie on Thursday on a Westjet commercial flight.