Alexandria, VA – Canada. Our frozen, confection-covered next-door neighbor to the north is making a rare appearance in the headlines and it’s exciting.
By the time you read this, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be house hunting north of our border, like any other newlywed couple. These photogenic lovebirds are also establishing themselves as approachable, even attaining “regular” status in much of the North American media, and appealing to our common taste buds while still maintaining that royal glimmer.
What’s particularly endearing about Harry and Meghan is that, despite their royal trappings of the past year, they are revealing themselves to the world as any other young couple just starting out. Like many millennials, after living at the folks’ place for the first year, they are now looking for a home of their own.
In true millennial fashion, Harry is circulating his resume for a new gig, now that he has given notice at Buckingham Palace. In stark contrast to America’s Royal Couple – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West – there seems to be some serious desire to hit the decks running and not rest on their laurels (i.e. celebrity). We’ll have to wait and see.
There were many comments like, “Canada? What’s that?” and “What are they thinking, giving up their palace for a townhouse in Toronto?”
Now, it may be hard for some to imagine Prince Harry pounding the pavement and dropping off resumes. And unlike the kind of networking they told you about in your MBA curriculum, I’m guessing Harry has some well-established contacts of his own and he won’t have to join the Chamber of Commerce on networking night. After all, his Dad Charles may be a bit of an odd duck, but he had the good sense to marry Diana Spencer, and Grandma is the main character of the most binge-watched miniseries on Netflix. I bet his resume makes it through the Indeed.com scan.
Somewhere in that resume, the title Prince is bound to appear and, to paraphrase Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the Prince.”
Meghan might well return to acting. Since she headlined on Suits, the hungry days of waiting for an audition call are gone. But I’m pretty sure that being a Duchess doesn’t hurt the casting process. Besides, I don’t think a recent headshot should be a problem, do you?
A lot of the media back in the U.K. spent weeks hand-wringing after the initial announcement, and mumbling things about 1) this is unprecedented, 2) puts the royal household in a quandary, and/or 3) is scandalous. Let’s take a quick look at the list from a historical perspective to see why the hand-wringing was all in vain.
Many other royals got out of Dodge when they had a chance. One shining example was Edward VIII (1). He was King of England for a whopping 354 days before he abdicated. Reason? “For the woman I love,” he said in his abdication radio broadcast.
Edward was the bon vivant of his era.(2) When Edward packed it in there was a media feeding frenzy about if the monarchy could survive. He and his wife, Wallis Simpson (American, commoner, and divorced), moved to Bermuda where he served as Governor during World War II. After the war, his niece, Queen Elizabeth II, said she really liked him a lot but his galivanting and abdication were really, really embarrassing to the whole royal gang and they couldn’t resettle in England. So Edward and Wallis moved to France, where they lived until he died in 1972.
Queen Victoria had nine children, three of which married nobles in Europe. Daughters Victoria, Alice, and Helena all took off for Germany and married princes, which was the big trend back then. On the flip side were royals marrying American girls whose dads were robber barons,(3) allowing royals to hang onto their palaces by using the wife’s money that came from Daddy.(4)
Throughout royal history there were so many trysts with other royals, politicians, Lords, Ladies, actors, and commoners that duels were commonplace. Mistresses were so commonplace that many of these notorious players made the social pages of the major newspapers.
So, why Canada? It doesn’t seem logical to an American Royal Watcher, when there are so many playgrounds in the world for a Prince and his Hollywood Honey to put down roots and shed the limelight. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the big summit meeting between Her Majesty the Queen, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (Charles), the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William), and the Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry). Imagine the dialogue for the sequel to The Crown: Royals Across the Pond.
HRH QEII: Well. What to do? What to do?
Charles: Mum, Harry wants to move to Canada with Meghan and he is asking for your permission.
William: He’s got mine!
Harry: Yeah, I bet! You want Meg and me gone ‘cause of all the publicity we’re getting.
Charles: Boys, settle down. I think that between William and I, we can handle all his official duties.
William: Ha! Official duties! His schedule: Go to Liverpool. Cut a ribbon at a shopping mall. Vegas. Party all weekend. Race cars. Saturday, Hollywood premiere. Wow, I’m exhausted.
Charles: Now William, that’s not very nice.
HRH QEII: Charles. Harry’s no different than you were at his age, you little scamp. Going to those wild classical concerts. Taking dates to the arboretum. Star gazing at the Royal Observatory. But Harry, why Canada?
Harry: Well, it’s a Commonwealth. It’s close to home. It’s also close to L.A. and Meghan’s family and friends. It has the longest border between two countries in the world, 151,000 miles of coastline, 3.8 million square miles, a GDP of 1.6 Trillion, and Justin Trudeau has a way cooler haircut than Boris Johnson.
HRH QEII: But whatever will you do?
Harry: I’m going to get a job.
HRH QEII: Darling, did you ever see the film Arthur, with Dudley Moore?
Harry: No, Mum.
HRH QEII: Check it out.
All that said, I think it will be a real boon to North America to have a link to the royal family just across the border. Besides, Europe is way too crowded with royals and ex-royals. It’s our turn. Maybe then we can push a Kardashian or two out of the limelight and watch young Archie, rather than young North West.
Marcus Fisk is a retired Navy Captain, Naval Academy graduate, sometime actor, sculptor, screenwriter, pick-up soccer player, and playwright. He and his wife Pamela are former long-time residents of Alexandria and currently live in Connecticut, where they travel the New England shore in their 42 Grand Banks Trawler ADAGIO.
Endnotes: (1) AKA Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, etc., etc. (2) Edward could have given Hugh Hefner a run for the title Playboy of the Western World. Edward’s conquests made Hefner look like a piker. (3) A Robber Baron was the closest thing to royalty titles that we had back in the Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century. (4) In those days folks made their money the old fashioned way – they inherited it.
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