As Prince Harry prepares to be reunited with his wife and son in Canada, the country’s biggest newspaper has told them they are not welcome to live there.
In a scathing editorial, The Globe and Mail said: ‘Canada is not a halfway house for anyone looking to get out of Britain while remaining a royal.’
But yesterday the nation’s most influential newspaper condemned the couple’s ‘vague and evolving plan to move to Canada while remaining part of the Royal Family‘, adding: ‘The Trudeau government’s response should be simple and succinct: No.’
On Monday, after crisis talks held at Sandringham, the Queen announced, ‘There will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.’
It is not clear how long this ‘period of transition’ will last, not least because of the sheer expense of their living ‘independent’ of the public purse.
In a scathing editorial, The Globe and Mail said: ‘ Canada is not a halfway house for anyone looking to get out of Britain while remaining a royal’ (pictured: Prince Harry broke cover on Wednesday night to announce his 2022 Invictus Games would be held in Dusseldorf, Germany, ‘the story continues,’ he said)
The Globe and Mail, a conservative and generally monarchist newspaper, indeed Canad’s bestselling paper, has condemned the decision as upsetting a delicate constitutional position (pictured: David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of the The Globe & Mail, from left, Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Tom Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party, and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister stand for a photograph prior to the second leaders’ debate in Calgary, Alberta in 2015
The security bill alone for the Sussexes is estimated at around £1million per annum, meanwhile Harry is thought to draw a salary somewhere in the region of £2.3million each year from his father’s estate, the Duchy of Cornwall.
But for The Globe and Mail, the complexities of the decision, to which the Queen referred in her deeply personal statement, were more to do with the constitutional ramifications for Canada, a ‘Realm of the Commonwealth.’
In a condemnatory editorial, The Globe and Mail wrote: ‘This country’s unique monarchy, and its delicate yet essential place in our constitutional system, means that a royal resident – the prince is sixth in the line of succession – is not something that Canada can allow. It breaks an unspoken constitutional taboo.’
The conservative paper that traditionally supports the monarchy, wrote: ‘If they were ordinary private citizens, plain old Harry and Meghan from Sussex, they would be welcome.
‘But this country’s unique monarchy, and its delicate yet essential place in our constitutional system, means that a royal resident – the prince is sixth in the line of succession – is not something that Canada can allow. It breaks an unspoken constitutional taboo.’
The editorial said Canada’s relationship to the monarchy was different from Britain’s, adding: ‘Our royals don’t live here. They reign from a distance. Close to our hearts, far from our hearths.
‘Canadians like their monarchy, and visits by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family tend to produce outpourings of public enthusiasm.’
But the royals should not ‘set up a home on the premises’, it said.
‘Princes are not shipped over here when no useful duties can be found for them on the other side of the Atlantic.
‘Canada welcomes people of all faiths, nationalities and races, but if you’re a senior member of our Royal Family, this country cannot become your home.’
The Globe and Mail said it was not a question of money, writing: ‘It goes deeper than the possibility of the feds having to find a few million extra bucks.’
Canadians are split over the royal issue, with some furious about reports their government has offered to pick up the tab for Harry and Meghan’s security – which will cost millions of pounds a year.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex depart Canada House which they visited on return to the UK last week after spending Christmas in Canada with baby Archie
The Canadian finance minister has insisted that no such discussions have taken place.
Today, Prince Harry faces an awkward return to Buckingham Palace as he hosts the draw there for the Rugby League World Cup.
The Queen is not expected to be in residence as Harry undertakes his first major engagement since the royal crisis.
Harry has several meetings in the UK early next week, after which he is expected to fly to Vancouver Island where Meghan and Archie are staying in the £10.7 million villa where they spent Christmas.
Before he goes it is understood the Prince will attend further meetings with officials at Buckingham Palace to iron out the details of ‘Megxit.’
The Queen is said to have pressed for her officials find a solution to this abdication crisis within days, however, royal experts say it will take far longer.
The Queen had written in her statement: ‘These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.’
Ahead of the Sandringham summit it was reported that Prince Harry and his wife had felt ‘bullied’ by Prince William, a claim which was strenuously denied by the brothers in a joint statement (pictured: the Sussexes and the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace in 2018)
Yesterday the spotlight veered back onto Meghan’s father after it was revealed he could be a ‘star witness’ when the Duchess takes on Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, at the High Court.
And today Meghan’s half-sister Samantha said their father Thomas was ready for what has been dubbed ‘the trial of the century.’
Samantha Markle, 55, who is Mr Markle’s daughter from his first marriage, told the BBC: ’If he is called, he will come.’
The Duchess of Sussex is suing Associated Newspapers for publishing a letter she wrote to her father in August 2018 in which chastised him for speaking to the press and how he had ‘broken her heart into a million pieces’.
Ms Markle has previously been highly critical in interviews about Meghan’s character, including calling her a ‘social climber with a soft spot for gingers’.
And last week she branded Meghan and Harry‘s decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family as a ‘slap in the face’.
Mr Markle has given lawyers previously unseen text messages sent in the build-up to Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry that reveal the breakdown of the relationship between father and daughter.
Some of the messages were detailed yesterday in defence papers filed at the High Court in London.
The estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex is expected to be called as a key witness for the defence in a court case she has brought against a newspaper (pictured: Meghan Markle as a youngster, with her father Thomas Markle)
Samantha Markle, who is Thomas Markle’s daughter from his first marriage, is pictured on US TV show Inside Edition on January 9. She said of Mr Markle today: ‘If he is called, he will come’
The documents say that after Mr Markle messaged his daughter saying he couldn’t come to her wedding because he had been rushed to hospital for emergency heart surgery and told not to fly on health grounds, he received a text that appeared to be from Prince Harry.
The message admonished him, accused him of causing hurt to his daughter and did not ask about his health. It left Mr Markle ‘deeply hurt’.
In return, Mr Markle wrote: ‘I’ve done nothing to hurt you Meghan or anyone else … I’m sorry my heart attack is … any inconvenience for you.’
The Duchess of Sussex launched legal action against Associated Newspapers last year after it published extracts of a letter she wrote to her father in August 2018.
Meghan, 38, has accused the newspaper – the sister paper of the Daily Mail – of breaching her privacy, her data protection rights and her copyright when it published extracts.
The MoS filed its defence to her case at the High Court in London yesterday. It denied her claims and argued there was a ‘huge and legitimate public interest’ in the Royal Family, including its ‘personal and family relationships’.
The defence papers also said:
- Thomas Markle only released Meghan’s letter to the world to show it was not the ‘loving’ plea her friends had been making out;
- He had kept her handwritten note private for months, and only revealed it to expose ‘false’ claims that the duchess had been reaching out to repair their relationship;
- He only decided to release extracts of the letter to the Press after she had allowed her friends to talk about it first in the US magazine People;
- That one of Meghan’s best friends, Jessica Mulroney, once intervened to try to fix a ‘favourable’ press article for the duchess;
- Mr Markle had insisted he made multiple attempts to contact his daughter by phone call and by text message, but received no response;
- That apart from the August 2018 letter, Mr Markle had not heard from his daughter since he told her he was too ill to attend her wedding. He had never been introduced to her husband Prince Harry, nor met his eight-month-old grandson Archie.
Meghan launched her legal action against the MoS last year after it published excerpts of her letter to her father. Mr Markle gave the letter to the newspaper after unnamed friends of the duchess told the People magazine that she had written the ‘loving’ letter in an attempt to repair their relationship.
Lawyers for the newspaper alleged that Meghan had ‘knowingly’ allowed her friends to leak details of the letter to the magazine – effectively that she had helped to breach her own privacy.
If the case goes before a judge, the paper said it would ask for Meghan to be forced to hand over all communications in which she had ’caused or permitted her friends to provide information about her to the media or to seek to influence what is published about her’.
It could lead to the prospect of Meghan coming face-to-face with her father in the High Court.
Mr Markle, a retired Hollywood lighting director who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, has said his daughter cut off all contact with him after her wedding, except for the letter at the centre of the case.
If he were to be called as a witness, he would effectively have to brand his own daughter a liar who had invaded her own privacy. The Sussexes have said they will fund the legal proceedings privately.
The duchess was last night pictured in Canada for the first time since she returned there following the bombshell ‘Megxit’ statement. She was seen boarding a sea plane from Vancouver Island which appeared to be destined for Whistler ski resort.
The duchess is said to be the driving force behind the move towards an ‘independent life’. Harry and Meghan spent six weeks over the festive period based in the Canadian province of British Columbia staying at an exclusive property on Vancouver Island.
The duchess, a former actress, worked in Toronto during her time starring in the popular US drama Suits, and knows the country well having lived there for seven years.
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