Editorial: No need to go ga-ga over the royals

Give them the peace they say they want and minimal cost to the Canadian taxpayer

Canada has a well-established role as a welcoming country, so it’s no real surprise that Prince Harry and his family should choose us as their new home away from home.

That goes double if they’re coming to Victoria, with its temperate weather and relaxed lifestyle.

But as we collectively go ga-ga over the possibility of having royals living in Canada, there are a few things to consider. Well, part-time royals who have given up the ‘your royal highness titles,’ and who are only living here part-time.

During past royal visits, it has been Canada’s responsibility to provide security for whoever is dropping by and absorb the costs, which can be prodigious, even for a short visit.

It is, in fact, our duty to the crown. But with Prince Harry and family coming to stay long-term, the idea of covering their security with taxpayer dollars seems a little outrageous.

According to the deal worked out between Prince Harry and his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, his young family won’t be receiving any public funding, at least in Britain. And the prince has stated he plans to become financially independent, though that seems a little naive.

Let’s hope that extends to taking care of his family’s security himself too. Otherwise, that would take up a lot of tax dollars that would be better spent dealing with any number of social issues facing Canada.

Hopefully, Harry, Meghan and Archie will find a nice mansion they can call their own, settle down and live the life of their dreams here in Canada. Of course, they still have Frogmore cottage at Windsor Castle to fall back on if they can’t.

But Canadians shouldn’t be thinking there will be any particular benefit to having high-profile royals living full time in our country. In Britain, they are a tourism draw, and add many, many pounds to the British economy, both directly and through the fundraising boost charities get from having a royal patron’s name attached to their cause.

As private citizens, Harry and Meghan won’t be doing that.

But back to the ga-ga stuff. It’s the last thing they want, of course, but do we need to go nuts over what it is essentially a family squabble, even if the Windsors are one of the richest families in the world?

Better to just give them what they want, a quieter life, away from the public spotlight. If that is really what they want, of course.

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