Saturday, December 4

Meghan in Vancouver’s warm embrace



While the controversy rumbles on in the UK over the desire of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to follow their own path, on the surface, the people of Vancouver have accepted Meghan as one of their own.

The warmth felt for her is there for all to see in a photo from the Vancouver Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre  Meghan looks happy and comfortable in their collective embrace.

That warmth is not being felt by everyone.

Canadians are famously polite but the media frenzy around the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is proving to be the thing that gets some of them riled up.

Being heckled in the street is an occupational hazard for news crews – it is unexpected when it comes from the nicest people on the planet.

It is clear, in British Columbia at least, that Canadians are taking very seriously their role as protectors of the royal exiles.

One couple were determined to make their point, interrupting our filming to tell us: The media drove them out of England. You should just leave them alone.

Numerous business owners declined, politely of course, to talk about the royals at all. Some who have spoken publicly about their interactions with the couple, they said, have suffered a nasty backlash for doing so.

There is an odd mood: they are delighted and fascinated on the one hand but wary and defensive on the other, conscious that this circus might become the new normal.

Whatever media interest there has been on Vancouver Island, the duchess has on the whole very successfully avoided it behind the gates of a private estate in the town of North Saanich. She was photographed only as she stepped out in public to board a seaplane bound for Vancouver.

An editorial in Canada’s biggest-selling newspaper suggested the country’s government should refuse the couple permissions to settle here if they remain members of the Royal Family.