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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left a certain existence behind when they stepped back from their senior royal roles. However, in relocating to the U.S., their children — Archie and Lilibet — could miss out on what the Duchess of Sussex “always wanted,” a big family.

Harry and Meghan moved to California in 2020 after stepping back as senior royals

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, whose children Archie and Lili may miss out on Meghan Markle's dream of a 'big family' because of California relocation, look on
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

After brief stays in Beverly Hills and Canada, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex put down roots. They bought a mansion in Montecito, Calif., an affluent seaside enclave, for $10 million.

According to Meghan, it was love at first sight. She and Harry knew they wanted the nearly 14,000-square-foot home without seeing the inside. At the time, they were a family of three with their now-3-year-old son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. 

Today, Harry and Meghan live in Montecito with Archie, their 1-year-old daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, and three dogs

Living stateside may prevent Archie and Lili from experiencing life in a ‘big family’ that Meghan Markle ‘always wanted’

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who along with his sister, Lilibet Diana, may not experience growing up with a 'big family' because of living in California
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor | Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Leaving royal life behind to start fresh in California could mean Archie and Lili don’t experience life in a big family. Something Meghan shared she longed for as a child in the Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, and admitted to getting a taste of during her first holiday with the royal family in 2017. 

“I remember so vividly the first Christmas at Sandringham,” Meghan said. “Calling my mom, and she’s like, ‘How’s it going?’ And I said, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s amazing.'”

“It’s just like a big family like I always wanted,” she added. “And there was just this constant movement and energy and fun.”

Meghan also remarked on her Archetypes podcast that she grew up a “latchkey kid” spending much of her time “alone.” Now with Meghan and Harry living in California, the “constant movement” the former Suits star experienced with Harry’s relatives may not be so readily available for Archie and Lili. 

Doria Ragland, mother to Meghan and grandmother to Archie and Lili, lives within driving distance. Meanwhile, Harry’s large extended family resides primarily in England, thousands of miles, multiple time zones, and an ocean, away. 

Playdates with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s three kids — Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 — even without the family tensions, might be few and far between considering Harry and Meghan’s U.S. home base. The same could be said for visits with Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, and her growing family. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are ‘creating their family’ with friends

Archie and Lili may not grow up relating heavily to the opening scene of Home Alone with the hustle and bustle of a house full of relatives. However, as Meghan’s friend and tennis legend, Serena Williams, told Netflix, they’re “creating their family.” 

“Friends can be family too,” Williams said in Harry & Meghan Volume II. “They can start something fresh and new and hope, that one day, that family on both ends will be able to understand that this is truly love.”