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EDITORIAL: Canadian Royals in residence could come with a cost

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. — Reuters file photo

Royal flush

“Many Canadians are giddy at the prospect that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could be moving to Canada, injecting some razzle dazzle to the sprawling, bone-chillingly cold country.”
— The New York Times, considering the suggestion that Royals might be setting up shop in Canada for part of the year.

Razzle-less and practically dazzle-free, we huddle under our blankets to escape the constant cold, dreaming, yes, even giddily dreaming that we might one day host some small offshoot of the House of Windsor on our chilly, snow-swept shores.

For what better cure for winter is there — right across a sprawling, recumbent, prostrate, supine nation  — than a good dose of royal quality?

Spirits have lifted already, bones lost their chill, with the idea that the holders of sixth (Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex) and seventh (little Archie Mountbatten-Windsor) positions in the line of succession after Queen Elizabeth II (let alone Ms. Markle) might arrive here. In terms of Canadian tropes, why, this would be better than a beavertail after ice-skating on the Rideau Canal.

But seriously: if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want to spend part of the year in Canada to escape the endless harangue of the British press and to step back from the front line of the monarchy business, well, welcome. (Though we would suggest it will take less than a month for some Fleet Street editor to rubber-stamp the full expense of “a complete fact-finding mission on the Royals in retreat in the Colonies” or at least some over-the-back-fence long-lens photos of people being, well, people.)

For what better cure for winter is there — right across a sprawling, recumbent, prostrate, supine nation  — than a good dose of royal quality?

And it may be that the Canadian media get caught up in the dog and pony show, at least for a little while. (Witness this story about the Royal pets in the National Post, reprinted from Britain’s Telegraph: “They reportedly flew their beagle and Labrador out to their property in Vancouver Island in November during their six-week sabbatical from royal duties. The Duchess brought her beagle, Guy, to the U.K. when the couple began dating. The couple later acquired the black Labrador, whose name has not been revealed.”)

But do keep in mind that razzling and dazzling has its own expenses. By Thanksgiving, keeping U.S. President Donald Trump in the style to which he has become accustomed — playing golf at his own resorts — has cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated US$115 million in travel and security expenses.

Redoing Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s British home, Frogmore Cottage, cost British taxpayers the equivalent of $3.9 million. The security expenses for members of the Royal family are not released, so it’s difficult to say what the price tag might be here, or who exactly would be paying it. There is, however, a legitimate need for security.

We’d say more. But there’s only so much excitement we can bear in one bone-chilling wintry day.


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