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THOMPSON: Canada the obvious choice for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

January 20, 2020 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Well, I can’t avoid writing about the latest earthshaking event. No, it’s not Trump. Not Trudeau either. It’s Megxit. Yeah, Prince Harry and Meghan are coming to Canada. Sure, they said North America…but we all know it’s gonna be…Oh, Canada!

Prince Harry and actress-turned-Royal-wife, the former Meghan Markle - AKA the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - no doubt tipped the Queen’s crown last month when they announced to the world with a ten-minute warning to the Royal Family their intention to step away from official duties and live part-time in North America. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge…Canada.

I’m not certain Prince Harry, Meghan and baby, Archie, have their collective eye on British Columbia…but I’m willing to start that rumour. Some say Toronto…reasoning that Meghan spent seven years there filming the hit legal comedy-drama, “Suits.” I don’t know…seven years in Toronto is as good a reason not to go back as it is to go.

Others reckon Ottawa will be the new home. Nah…leave a city - London - with political trappings for another less-glamorous city with political trappings? I’d guess Saskatoon before Ottawa.

Montreal? Lovely city…old world feel…but that would just be further tinder for the Quebec sovereignty movement. No…and we’re running out of realistic choices and provinces. Nova Scotia? No. New Brunswick? No. Prince Edward Island? No, just too matchy-matchy. Alberta? No, too Alberta. Newfoundland and Labrador? No. If you’re moving, get some better weather.

It’s British Columbia, folks! They were just in Vancouver for Christmas and New Year’s…loved it by all accounts. Trudeau did tweet a warm welcome to Canada: “Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie, we’re all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada. You’re among friends, and always welcome here.”

Come on, the weather’s better in Vancouver than London…lots of movies are shot in Vancouver and there are non-stop flights to Tinseltown for Meghan. Besides, we all live here, right?

Leave it to Tim Hortons to try and seal the deal with understated Canadian elegance in the company’s tweet offer: “No pressure, Meghan and Harry, but if you do choose to move to Canada, free coffee for life. Think about it.”

I guess it might be a little weird for Harry and Meghan…I’ve never lived where my grandma was on the $20 bill or its coins, so maybe that’s like clowns…somewhere between funny and creepy. I’m not sure either how Canadians might feel about their tax dollars going for hefty security costs…for life…after all, Archie’s only nine months old. I guess Harry could take up hockey and curling to further endear himself to Canadians...wear red and black plaid flannel?

But you know, there’s something that just feels good about the possibility. A recent poll found that 60 percent of Canadians wouldn’t mind Harry being Canada’s Governor General. But isn’t that more of the official duties they’re trying to leave?

I like the fact that you don’t just end up here, you have to choose Canada. I did, and I’m proud of my choice. I think Canada will embrace Harry and Meghan, even without responsibility for all the ribbon-cuttings and official Royal trappings. It’s kind of a Canadian thing.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.


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