After stepping back as senior royal family members and relocating to the US in 2020, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and their son Archie stayed in one of close friend Tyler Perry's houses in Southern California.
This happened at a time when they faced both the coronavirus pandemic and the loss of security services they previously received while in Buckingham Palace.
They later moved into their own mansion in Montecito.
Now, actor and filmmaker Perry has opened up about the duchess, sharing an update on how she, Prince Harry and their kids Archie, three and Lilibet, one, are doing.
The 52-year-old father-of-one took to Instagram to share a photo of Markle from 2019, when she visited Cape Town charity Mothers2Mothers, which trains and employs mothers with HIV.
In the photo, Markle kisses the hand of eight-year-old Amara Nenguke, who appeared overwhelmed.
Perry captioned the photo: 'I’ve had a front row seat in your life for the past few years. I’ve watched you endure things that would have broken a lot of people. I'm so incredibly proud to see how happy you, your husband, and your kids are now. It fills me with joy to say Happy Birthday Princess Meghan [sic].'
Prior to Markle, 41, and Prince Harry, 37, moving into one of Perry's properties, a British tabloid had published their exact location, near Vancouver, which was a threat to their safety.
'Suddenly it dawned on me, ‘Hang on, the borders could be closed. … The world knows where we are. It’s not safe, it’s not secure, we probably need to get out of here,' Prince Harry recalled when speaking to Oprah Winfrey during the couple's explosive interview with her in March 2021.
Markle said: 'We didn’t have a plan,' adding that the invitation from Perry to stay at one of his house 'gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we were going to do'.
During the royal couple's sit-down interview with Winfrey, which took place in Montecito, Markle also admitted to loneliness, suicidal thoughts and an alleged comment over concerns about Archie's skin colour.
She spoke of feeling 'haunted' by a photograph from an official event she attending with Prince Harry at the Royal Albert Hall while pregnant.
'Right before we had to leave for that (event), I had just had that conversation with Harry that morning,' she said.
Winfrey asked: 'That you don't want to be alive any more?' before Markle replied: 'Yeah.'
Referring to Archie, the mother-of-two explained: 'In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time so we have in tandem the conversation of he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born.'
Fast forward to 2022 and the couple are the receivers of the prestigious President's Award, which they were awarded at the NAACP Image Awards in February, as recognition for their special achievements and public service.
Later, the Archewell founders visited the UK as a family-of-four for the first time since they moved to the US, to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June.
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