As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Canada officially acknowledges Queen Elizabeth’s position as monarch and Head of all 54 member states. Yet, Canadians aren’t fully sold on the role of the Royal Family in the lives of North America’s dominant country in the Crown’s realm. For years, Canadians have casually entertained the topic at dinner tables, but in recent months the discussion has taken a more serious tone since the curtain was raised on Prince Andrew’s dubious dealings with Jeffrey Epstein.
A public relations nightmare at best, and a carefully concealed sex crime at worst, the Queen had a mess to clean up when allegations of her son’s alleged sexual exploits with at least one underage girl came to light. Canadians joined the world as it collectively shook its head while Prince Andrew’s scrambled in vain to explain his actions in a BBC long-form interview. It was an epic failure.
A few weeks later, the Queen addressed the Commonwealth in her annual pre-recorded Christmas message. As usual, her audience was interested in hearing her Christmas tidings, but they were also interested in how she would address (or if she would address) the elephant in the room: chaos in the Royal Family. Not only was Prince Andrew presenting frustration and immense damage to the reputation of the Royal Family, so too was the headache of an emerging family feud with grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“The path, of course, is not always smooth,” the Queen said in her address, “And may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference.”
Of course, the drama with Prince Harry continued into 2020 when he relinquished official royal duties and moved to Canada. Public opinion on the move was mixed, with Canadians willing to extend the royals a welcoming hand but not keen to extend the royals a hand-out. The prevailing opinion in Canada is that no member of the Royal family should have an official role in Canada, which therefore means that Canadians shouldn’t have to foot the bill for a member of the Royal Family who chooses to reside in the Great White North.
So far, Harry and Meghan have kept a low profile, due in large part to COVID-19 isolation. They aren’t seen in public and because they don’t have servants shopping for them, we can only assume they’ve joined the rest of us “commoners” as we shop for hand sanitizer using the e-commerce catalogs of Melaleuca products, GNC products, and Walgreens products.
Meanwhile, across the pond, the Queen enjoys wonderfully-high public opinion approval ratings throughout the Commonwealth—and, quite frankly, outside the Commonwealth. She is revered as a stalwart world leader in a time of ever-present turmoil. Canadians pray for her continued health and long life. As for Prince Andrew? That’s another story.