Wait – Harry and Meghan are doing what now? Moving to Canada? Do I have time to leave first?
Only joking. There are nearly 40 million people in Canada, so my chances of encountering the Sussexes are small.
I doubt we move in the same circles, even if the royal couple are uncoupling themselves from the royals, so I can safely remain a resident of Ontario, even if I am a reluctant subject of the Crown.
But the recent chatter about Harry and Meghan has thrown up interesting points about the attitude of Canadians towards the British royals, and what the slightly-less-royal pair can expect here.
Much of North America has a fascination with blue-bloods but it’s particularly marked in Canada, where ties to the UK remain strong despite ongoing immigration from all parts of the world.
As a British person in Canada, I often encounter Anglophiles who love to chat about princes and suchlike, and their attitudes can be startling.
For example, there’s often antipathy towards Prince Charles, I think because people identified with the “fairytale princess” image of Diana and felt he treated her badly. Also, crucially, narratives presented by the British tabloids don’t travel well.
Then there’s the privilege enjoyed by North Americans. It’s easier to like the idea of inherited superiority when it’s far away and of no threat to you.
In Canada, you’re unlikely to be judged on your class. There’s more social mobility, and where you grew up doesn’t usually matter (with the troubling exception of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, who still face shocking prejudice).
So it’s easy to see why the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are interested in spending time in Canada, a place they know well.
Here, they can expect a certain level of respect while maintaining distance from commoners. They might even manage to earn a living, if that really is how their plans work out.
Good for them, although it does present me with a problem. I won’t encounter them, but I won’t be able to avoid them either. What’s the good of moving 3,500 miles away if Prince Harry is all over the media? I may need to start a revolution.
Just don’t try sending Piers Morgan across the Atlantic again. That’s was a step too far.