LONDON - Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has flown back to Canada following the bombshell announcement that she and her husband, Prince Harry, are "stepping back" from royal duties, prompting intensified speculation that the couple will make Canada their part-time home.

An official at Buckingham Palace confirmed reports that Meghan had returned to Canada - the latest act in a drama that the British press has dubbed "Megxit."

Meanwhile, Harry remains in Britain, where he is reportedly in deep discussions with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II; his father, Prince Charles; and his brother, Prince William, about the couple's future role.

Robert Lacey, a royal biographer and author of "The Crown: The Inside History," said the talks were likely about details and logistics. If the reports were true that the queen wants to find a solution "within days," he said, "well, actually, this shows an awareness, an acceptance of reality, that it has to be made to work in a good and positive way."

"Canada is the ideal base for the two-way royal work they have in mind," he said, speculating that Harry and Meghan may try to launch onething in the model of the Obama Foundation. He added that "in post-Brexit Britain, it could make sense to strengthen ties across the Atlantic."

He said that Prince Charles, the queen's eldest son, had previously signaled that he wants a slimmed-down monarchy if and when he takes the throne. "Some European royal families get by with four people," Lacey said, adding that those numbers would not work for Britain, where there is "such an appetite for royalty."

But Charles nonetheless wants to cut down on the number of working royals, Lacey said, and part of that plan includes expanding roles for William, who would focus on efforts domestically, and Harry, who would concentrate on members of Britain's Commonwealth of Nations.

"But half a Harry is better than no Harry, and if Meghan can be kept onside and brought in, that's all for the good," he said.

Harry and Meghan reported took the palace by surprise with their announcement. There has been debate about whether the couple rushed to issue the statement after the Sun tabloid published a front-page story on Wednesday that claimed they were looking to move to Canada for a "significant portion of this year."

Tom Bradby, an ITV journalist who filmed a documentary with Harry and Meghan and is considered to be friends with the royals, disputed that the family didn't know anything about the couple's plans, but said they were caught off-guard by the timing.

He told ITV News that Harry had been talking to his family for "some weeks," and was asked by them to put the ideas in writing, which were then leaked to the press.

"I think he felt once it had been leaked, all bets were off," Bradby said.

He said Harry and Meghan understood "there was going to be a slimmed down monarchy, and they weren't really a part of it." He also added there have been "really bad personal splits" within the family.

Harry and Meghan attempted to explain how they see their new roles on a new website,, which promotes "supporting community" above "serving the monarchy" or "strengthening the Commonwealth."

They said they wanted to continue to work with the charities they have supported, which focus on issues such as female empowerment and mental health, and would also seek to set up a new charitable entity. The Sussexes said they would like to achieve "financial independence."

But there are more questions than answers. How will they earn money? Will they continue to receive money from Prince Charles, who was reportedly not fully informed about their decision but pays for 95% of the couple's expenses via his Duchy of Cornwall estate. Where will they live in North America?

On the last point, they may decide to move to Los Angeles, where Meghan grew up and where her mother lives.

But current speculation is that the couple will take up part-time residence in Canada, perhaps in Toronto, where Meghan, lived for more than six years while starring in the legal drama "Suits."

The couple and their baby, Archie, also spent at least part of their six-week Christmas vacation in British Columbia in western Canada. Harry and Meghan were spotted jogging and hiking around Vancouver Island.

Eagle-eyed royal watchers have also noticed that the couple's new website was created by the same Toronto-based Web designers who did the Tig, Meghan's now-shuttered lifestyle blog.

Canada is a member of the Commonwealth. Even though Prince Harry's grandmother is the head of state - he will see Queen Elizabeth's face every time he uses Canadian money - he isn't an automatic Canadian citizen. As a British citizen, Harry can stay in Canada for up to six months at a time without a visa. The couple could also apply for work visas.

The day before they announced they would be stepping back from public duties, Harry and Meghan visited Canada House in London's Trafalgar Square to thank assembled diplomats for the hospitality they received. Meghan said the family had an "incredible time."

"To see Archie go 'Ah' when you walk by, and just see how stunning it is - so it meant a lot to us," she said.

Jessica Mulroney, a Toronto-based stylist and close friend of Meghan's, posted a quote on Instagram on Thursday, attributed to the filmmaker and singer Gina Carey: "A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink."