The Duchess of Sussex has left one Canadian couple speechless after she stepped in to help them take a photo while on a hike with her husband, Prince Harry, 35.
Iliya Pavlovic and Asymina Kantorowicz were struggling with their selfie stick in the midst of Vancouver Island's Horth Hill Regional Park when the surprise royal run-in occurred - not that they knew it was happening at first.
“We noticed a group was standing nearby and they had two dogs, one of which was approaching us,” Asymina, who happens to be a producer for CTV News Vancouver Island, told the outlet.
Asymina says a female member of the hiking party came right over and kindly offered to snap a photo for them.
“We said sure. I didn't see who she was at that time,” she said, adding that they did recognise Abigail Spencer, star of the TV show Suits, among the group.
Lo and behold, the ‘familiar-looking’ woman who came to their aid turned out to be Meghan Markle herself, leaving the couple, who hail from Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, in utter shock.
“I froze up. I actually couldn’t believe who it was. Then I looked over to the side and that’s when I realized Prince Harry was standing there,” Asymina said.
“I kept looking back and forth like, ‘Is this actually happening?’” she added.
In the moment, a stunned Asymina cracked a joke about the drawbacks of selfie sticks which got a chuckle out of the Duchess, 38, who was happy to take on the challenge despite her husband’s teasing.
“She laughed and responded with something like, ‘We'll have to do better,’ and then Harry said, ‘No pressure’”.
In the end, the ‘super-friendly’ Meghan took three photos of Iliya and Asymina before wishing them a warm Happy New Year and continuing on her walk with Harry and their two pups, beagle Guy and an unnamed black dog.
“Then we kind of turned to each other laughed and said, ‘Did that just happen?’ I still can't believe it. It feels like a dream,” Asymina said.
“We really appreciated that she stopped to take a photo for us. We would not have recognised them had they not approached us,” she added.
The couple says they ‘didn’t want to make it a big deal’ but admitted to both calling their mums to share the news once the royals were out of earshot.
It’s not the first time the Duchess has flexed her photography skills while holidaying in the former British colony with Harry and their baby son Archie.
It was revealed that Meghan was the one behind the lens of the adorable shot of the Duke and their seven-month-old bub that was released on New Year’s Day.
Royal’s restaurant rejection
The Sussex’s festive getaway hasn’t all been smooth sailing, with the pair’s reservation request at a posh restaurant on Vancouver Island abruptly refused a few days ago.
They were said to have had their eye on a table at waterfront French dining room Deep Cove Chalet until owner and chef Pierre Koffel turned them down, reportedly over the tight security required for their visit.
Pierre’s wife and restaurant co-owner Bev Koffel told the Vancouver Sun newspaper she’d spotted the royal couple exercising in the nearby Horth Hill Regional Park.
“Horth Hill’s become a very popular place now. And they jog around, so they’ve been seen,” she said.
Harry and Meghan touched down in Canada with their seven-month-old son Archie last month and have been spending their low-key six-week holiday catching up with friends in the country.
Former actor Meghan called Toronto home for several years while she filmed the TV show Suits and has a number of close pals in the area.
Among those is fellow star Janina Gavankar who snapped the family of three’s Christmas e-card and later slammed reports that the Duchess’ face had been Photoshopped.
Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland also flew in from her Los Angeles home to spend ‘private family time’ over Christmas with the Sussexes.
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