The Globe and Mail gets it exactly right in an editorial datelined 13 January.
“Britain,” the editorialists tell us, “is the inventor of one of the world’s great innovations in government: a monarchy that reigns but does not rule. Canada took that system and improved it, by pushing it one step further. The Canadian monarchy is virtual; it neither rules nor resides. Our royals don’t live here. They reign from a distance. Close to our hearts, far from our hearths.“
The Globe and Mail explains why the exquisite balancing act ~ a “foreign” monarch who is, still, our own gracious sovereign lady ~ works so well. And it says “Canadians like their monarchy, and visits by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family tend to produce outpourings of public enthusiasm. But while the people who embody the Crown pay visits from time to time, they don’t set up a home on the premises. A royal living in this country does not accord with the long-standing nature of the relationship between Canada and Britain, and Canada and the Crown … [and] … 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 … [because] … The concept of the Crown is at the centre of the Canadian system of government. Bills aren’t law until they receive royal assent; crimes are prosecuted in the name of Her Majesty by lawyers known as crowns; your passport asks foreign states for protection in the name of the Queen. All of that comes out of a constitutional order, more than a century-and-a-half old, based on the British model … [but] … though Canada borrowed from Britain, it isn’t Britain and never was. And this country long ago took steps to make that unmistakably clear.“
Harry and Megan’s “plan” to become some sort of semi-royals and to live in Canada is a bad idea. It should be unacceptable to the Government of Canada unless Harry renounces ALL of his titles and privileges and applies to immigrate to Canada as Mr Harry Wales. He and his duchess can be either semi-royal or they can live in Canada; they cannot be both. We cannot, constitutionally, accept such a chimaera. The really important parts of our Constitution are unwritten, and how we deal with the royal family is part of the unwritten conventions that are established over time. The working convention is as the Globe and Mail, describes it. Agreements made by brits in Sandringham cannot be allowed to damage our delicate constitutional balances.
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex is part of the Royal Family. As such, anything he does in Canada, except for a very occasional, fairly short and purely private visit, is “official.” But, if he wants to live here it must be only as a purely private citizen, completely detached from royal titles and so on. He cannot be here and still be, in any way, a royal because our constitutional conventions do not allow such a possibility, and they have not since the 1950s. Whoever has the idea that Harry can, somehow, be both a royal and a Canadian resident must disabuse themselves of it post-haste. My, personal, guess is that he and his wife belong in America or, perhaps, in Switzerland or the South of France, where there are no constitutional issues and where they can be swallowed up in one of several huge celebrity universes.