Multi-millionaire Canadian producer David Foster has admitted that he helped Prince Harry and Meghan Markle secure the $20 million Vancouver mansion that they rented over their Christmas vacation.
Foster, 70, is married to 35-year-old actor and singer Katharine McPhee, who went to high school with Markle.
Foster introduced the royal couple to an unnamed friend who owns the secluded waterfront property in North Saanich on Vancouver Island.
Foster told the Daily Mail that when he learned that Prince Harry and Meghan were on the hunt for a private place to stay over Christmas with their seven-month-old son Archie and Markle’s mother Doria Ragland, he was happy to facilitate.
“I felt honoured that I was able to help Meghan there, because I’m a Canadian and we’re a Commonwealth country, we’re the Crowns,” Foster said. “It’s important to us, so I grew up with that kind of sentiment.”
“I was really happy to be able to help them to find a respite just to take a little time off.”
Foster, a 16-time Grammy-winning songwriter and producer who has worked with stars including Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson and Michael Bublé, was born on Vancouver Island.
He said he did not know whether or not the Sussexes paid to stay in the mansion.
“I don’t know what their next plans are, but I know that it was reinvigorating for them to spend some downtime,” he said.
‘This is a great testament to my hometown of Victoria that they were able to go under the radar for so long.’
Foster explained that he met the royal couple last year in London with spouse McPhee. “Immediately we were drawn to them, like everybody is, and I was just happy to help,” he said.
McPhee and her 37-year-old sister Adriana attended Immaculate Heart Middle School in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, while Markle, 38, was at its companion high school.
McPhee was the runner up on the fifth season of American Idol in 2006.
Last January, she posted a photo of herself and Markle in high school to Instagram.
“Meghan and I did musicals together as kids. She grew up to be the Duchess of Sussex and I grew up to star on the West End, so same life if you ask me,” she wrote.
In 2010, the Vancouver Island mansion was used to host an event for Foster’s charity, the David Foster Foundation, which gives financial assistance to children from poor Canadian families in need of organ transplants.
“The house was magical, and for the one or two days that we used the house for our board of directors we accomplished so much in this magical place,” Foster said.
In 2014, Foster helped Russian oligarch Yuri Milner, who at one time owned more than eight per cent of Facebook and five per cent of Twitter, to rent the property, but he said that Mr Milner did not own the house.
In 2014 a real estate agent involved with the property’s sale said that the owner was a US-based billionaire who was neither American nor Canadian.
Foster married McPhee in 2018. The actor made her Broadway debut the same year, starring as the female lead in Waitress. She reprised the role in the West End production in 2019.
The marriage is Foster’s fifth. The producer is estimated to have a net worth of around $115 million.
Originally published as Millionaire behind Meghan, Harry’s hideaway