I’ve had a soft spot for Meghan Markle since I began watching “Suits,” the made-in-Canada TV show about a passel of angry high stakes lawyers. Her good looks helped a lot but the character she played was likeable – more so than some others in the cast – and she played it well.
When her romance with Harry came to light, my general disinterest in royalty mellowed as they were both likeable people, as most everybody came to feel. Seeing them come to Canada for Christmas had a nice feeling about it, but nothing to get avidly excited about. And by all means let them come to live here if that’s what they want.
Controversy about their druthers to back away from lifetime royalty roles has thankfully ebbed with the Queen’s philosophical acceptance of their wishes, so let us hope their future may be a little less in the media spotlight.
One outcome than ought never to be allowed is the alarmingly popular notion of appointing Harry as Canada’s Governor-General. Admirable as the young Prince may be, he lacks the essential qualification for the job – he is not a born Canadian. The country had its fill of Brit Governors – 17 of them – from 1867 until 1952 when Vincent Massey became our first Canadian Governor General. He filled the post admirably, promoting Canadian unity and identity and enthusiastically encouraging the arts. He was tireless in his travels, visiting every corner of the country – where plane or ship couldn’t reach, he went by canoe or dog team. His immediate successor, General Georges Vanier, was a distinguished armed services veteran and diplomat. And other prominent and accomplished Canadians have carried on the traditions they established.
So please keep this record of Canadian achievement alive and banish any thoughts of handing over this all important honour to an outsider, no matter how commendable.
Indeed, why not go that further step toward national self-respect by cutting ties entirely with the British crown, and re-designating the position by whatever title as official head of state. It surely is time – after 163 years of self-government, for Canada to be fully independent of Britain and the British monarchy. I have no problem of Britain keeping its monarch, as long as it is no longer ours.