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Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, wave as they visit One World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York, on Sept. 23, 2021.ANDREW KELLY/Reuters

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the subjects of a modern-day storybook romance, have bought the screen rights to a modern-day storybook romance.

Meet Me at the Lake, a novel by Canadian author Carley Fortune that topped the bestseller lists of The Globe and Mail and The New York Times upon its release by Penguin Random House in May, has been optioned by Meghan and Prince Harry for Netflix. It is Ms. Fortune’s second novel, after 2022′s Every Summer After.

Set in Toronto and Ontario’s cottage country, it’s a love story about two people in their early 30s – the improbably named Fern Brookbanks and artist Will Baxter – who find each other at two separate points in their lives.

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Meghan and Harry, who met in their 30s, signed a reported US$100-million deal with Netflix in 2020. The California-based couple have their own production company, Archewell Productions, which was created to develop programming that “informs, elevates and inspires,” according to the Archewell website.

“I’m so thrilled about working with Netflix and Archewell to bring Meet Me at the Lake to the screen,” Ms. Fortune, a former Globe and Mail journalist, said in a statement. “Will and Fern’s love story is dear to my heart, and I can’t imagine a more perfect partnership.”

In 2022, Netflix aired the six-part series Harry & Meghan, which covered the much-publicized love story of Harry, who is fifth in line to the British throne, and the American actor. It holds the U.S.-based streaming service’s record for the biggest debut viewership for a documentary.

Their upcoming docuseries Heart of Invictus, announced by Netflix in January, involves contestants in the 2020 Invictus Games, an international athletic competition founded by Harry (who served in Afghanistan) for wounded military service members and veterans. He and Meghan made their first official public appearance together at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, where she lived while shooting the U.S. legal drama Suits.

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Earlier this summer, their multiyear partnership with Swedish streaming giant Spotify to produce podcasts was abruptly cut short after just one series, Archetypes, which Meghan hosted. A Wall Street Journal report said the couple had failed to meet the agreed-upon productivity standards required of a deal estimated to have been worth as much as US$20-million.

It is not known how much they paid for the rights to Meet Me at the Lake.

In a recent interview with The Globe, Ms. Fortune described the book as a “love letter to Toronto.” Her two romance novels have sold more than a million copies worldwide.

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