VICTORIA -- The Duchess of Sussex has been photographed in public for the first time since her return to Vancouver Island last week.

British tabloids The Sun and the Daily Mail both published several photographs of Meghan boarding a float plane in Victoria's Inner Harbour on Tuesday.

Representatives from flight operator Harbour Air would neither confirm nor deny to CTV News Vancouver Island that the Duchess flew with the carrier Tuesday.

Meghan was photographed smiling as she boarded one of the company's aircraft amid heavy snowfall in Victoria.

The sighting comes one day after the Queen gave the official go-ahead to the Duchess and Prince Harry to start a new life outside their royal duties, spending part of their time in Canada.

Meghan returned to Vancouver Island on Thursday, shortly after the royal couple wrapped up a multi-week Canadian vacation, including a stay in the North Saanich area.

During their Vancouver Island holiday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex left a positive impression on islanders they encountered.

On New Year's Day, Markle helped a Victoria couple take a picture while the royal couple was out for a hike. Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan were also seen hiking in a North Saanich park by a number of hikers.

Soon after Meghan was photographed leaving Victoria on Tuesday, she posed for a photo with staff at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver.