Prince Harry, Meghan Markle engagement has special resonance for her former fellow Torontonians
Markle's home, friends and many fashion picks rooted in Toronto
Her future home is on the grounds of Kensington Palace, but Meghan Markle's recent years have reportedly been spent living on a quiet, tree-lined street in Toronto with her two rescue dogs, Bogart and Guy.
Markle, whose engagement to Prince Harry was announced today, is best known for her role as paralegal Rachel Zane on the USA Networks hit Suits, which is filmed in Toronto.
The 36-year-old TV star's relocation north to Canada was a bit of an adjustment for the California native, who grew up around L.A. with her mother and father, a successful lighting director in Hollywood.
"Seven Canadian winters!" she told Vanity Fair about her time filming in Toronto. "A long time for someone who grew up in Southern California."
Excitement over today's much-anticipated announcement had a special resonance in Toronto, where the celebrity couple officially unveiled their romance for the first time this spring.
The couple — rumoured to be dating for months and stalked by paparazzi on both sides of the ocean — appeared at the Invictus Games in the Canadian city in late September, as Harry presided over the multi-sport event for wounded military personnel and veterans.
Harry and Markle, wearing a white rumpled blouse which fashionistas with a wink pointed out was known as the "Husband Shirt," made their first public appearance at the games where they held hands at a wheelchair tennis match at city hall, according to Toronto Life magazine. At the time, Hello magazine said the prince started his Toronto visit by surprising Markle on the set of Suits.
Her Canadian connections extend to trend-setting fashion mavens, particularly Jessica Mulroney, the socialite wife of TV host Ben Mulroney and daughter-in-law of former prime minister Brian Mulroney. It's believed that Markle hired Mulroney as a fashion stylist several years ago after Suits became a hit and dramatically raised her celebrity profile.
Mail Online says Mulroney has been credited with "transforming her wardrobe, polishing her style and introducing her to the wealthy, fashionable and well-connected young crowd in Canadian high society."
Markle is also known to have a penchant for Toronto designer Smythe, often seen wearing the label's coats and cable-knit sweaters along with Mackage's west coast designs.
For Monday's outdoor engagement photo op, she appeared in a white coat by Line the Label, a Toronto design label she's previously worn, including for the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in September.
"Meghan has an effortlessly chic sense of style, which we've always admired," Line co-founder John Muscat said in a statement, adding the company is honoured she chose to wear one of their creations "to mark this very special occasion."
"We know this particular coat is one of her favourite pieces so we have officially decided to name it the 'Meghan.' We are elated for Meghan and wish her a lifetime of happiness with Prince Harry."
In 2015, the actress partnered with Canadian retailer Reitmans to design a capsule collection and star in an ad campaign.
Markle is also said to be a fan of the popular Italian bistro, Terroni which has locations in Toronto and L.A.
The Vanity Fair article revealed that the couple met in London through friends in July 2016, and were rumoured to have gotten engaged in Botswana over the summer.
Britain's royal palace says the two will marry in the spring of 2018, adding that they became engaged earlier this month.
Harry, 33, is fifth in line to the British throne. The former army captain completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and has become a favourite member of the royal family despite some social missteps.
With files from CBC News.