Meghan Markle’s friend Jessica Mulroney ‘helped shape’ her royal quit decision

Meghan Markle's close friendship with the celebrity fashion stylist Jessica Mulroney is believed to have helped shape her decision during the last few months.

Jessica is part of the Duchess of Sussex’s glamorous celebrity set.

While in the UK, the Duchess is known to have also missed her US-based group of friends, which includes actors Janina Gavankar and Abigail Spencer, and designer Misha Nonoo.

American tennis player Serena Williams is another pal Meghan is said to confide in.

Jessica, who is married to former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney’s son Ben, sent Meghan a public boost after the news broke, posting a quote on Instagram that said: “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.”

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It is not yet known whether the Sussexes would eventually move to LA, where Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland lives, or settle long-term in her “second home” of Canada.

It's understood Meghan and Harry had been planning their move abroad for some months – possible as far back as Spring.

While senior members of the royal family were said to be aware of the desire to step back, sources claimed they did not know a statement would be released on Wednesday evening.

In it, the Duke and Duchess said: "After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.

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"We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.

"It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.

"We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages."

After returning from a six week Christmas break in Canada, Meghan flew back to the country on Thursday evening to be reunited with baby Archie.

Harry is expected to fly out to be with Meghan and Archie after he hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw next week.

A source said: “It was only a flying visit for Meghan. She wanted to get back ‘home’ to Archie.”, reports the Sun.

The Duke and Duchess reportedly left their son in Canada so he would not suffer jet lag flying to the UK and back within five days.

A source said the couple "hopeful" discussions to find workable solutions for their future roles in the monarchy can be concluded "sooner rather than later".

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