The Official Birthday of HM Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada and UK in the 68 year of her Reign, the longest in Canadian and British history at Windsor Castle. Very Best Wishes for a Happy 94th Birthday from Canada.
Well 20 cm is a little over 7 inches and this is what we are getting today, big fluffy white stuff. The temperature yesterday was the coldest it has been in PEI for 105 years which is highly abnormal for us. Next week we should be back to our usual -2 to -5c daytime temperature.
This being a Sunday, people have an excuse for not being open for business after noontime and the visibility is not good on the roads.
Yesterday we went to a friend for a 6 hour marathon viewing of Wolf Hall the 2015 series on the time of Henry VIII and his Minister Thomas Cromwell, a very well done historical drama. Our friend has the most beautiful mansion, I counted 5 double fireplaces in the house which is located in Keppoch with a large lawn giving unto water and the entrance to the Strait of Northumberland. Every ship entering the Hillsborough river and Charlottetown passes in front of his house. The other side is the ruins of Fort Amherst and Rocky point, what they call a million dollar view, sea, forests, rocky shores and sky.
So while we were at our friends the news came of the final arrangements between the Royal Family and now Harry and Meghan. As I suspected all along and knowing how in such matters you cannot win against the Crown, the settlement is pragmatic and no nonsense. It is not what Meghan had hoped for and Harry knew the limits of what could be achieved, after all he was born into this Familly. I had a first inkling of what would happen when the Queen issued her statement after the family meeting at Sandringham, HM spoke of Her Family and of Harry and Meghan not of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. To my reading of this statement HM was saying you are part of the Family and always will be but here for you but we part ways now. The next day it was announced quietly that Frogmore Cottage (not house) was being closed down and staff had been re-assigned to other palaces, only a caretaker living at the house will remain.
So the final settlement is giving up on Royal Titles and styling, no more HRH for either of them. No more Royal military appointments for Harry who was Captain General of the Royal Marines, no more engagements on behalf of the Crown, money is being cut off though Harry may still get some financial support from his father. They will spend most of their time in Canada, though this is a problem in terms of taxation and immigration, I presume the Government of Canada through the Minister of Immigration may extend a special residence permit to them. They cannot immigrate to Canada because they do not meet the basic criteria of University Education and French language skills, they have no employable skills for our job market, being an ex-soldier is not considered a skill in demand and being an actress is also not in demand. They will also have to repay Grandma for the 2.4 Million pounds she spent on refurbishing a few months ago Frogmore Cottage. Their security will also be downgraded to possibly one officer or no security. The Government of Canada does not want to get involved because of the backlash from Canadians on money issues. We are talking of about $3000. CDN dollars a day for both of them which is peanuts really in terms of government spending.
They will have to find a way to make money on their own and support themselves. Yes Harry has money of his own and so does Meghan but that is not going to last forever. With no Official role anymore and a downgrade in their status, how long will the magic last? Once you are a nobody who cares? Or if they take on the lifestyle of celebrities, the media will be like vultures around them. Is that what Meghan really want? There is also the question of the British citizenship Meghan was supposedly working at getting, now that is also up in the air, you have to live in the UK to get citizenship and she does not want to live there.
Who will be their support system in Canada? Meghan claims to have friends due to her stint in Toronto but can they continue to depend on the good favours of friends? Does Harry have any friends in Canada? No, no one. It is a big step down for him and he will experience difficulties in getting accustomed to mere mortal life. The Markle family has started to talk to the Media again and lots of ugliness will come out, including that ill advised lawsuit against the Media, her father wants to testify against her.
I just have a feeling that this is not going to end well. They may find they will have more difficulties than first imagine. As Harry said; this is a leap of faith. Or do they want to spend their life pushing products on SussexRoyal.com, it all sounds tawdry. A sad situation to say the least. Just now the Palace has announced that in one year’s time the situation will be reviewed, it’s an open door for them, maybe they will come to their senses. In closing this situation cannot be compared to his great uncle Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, they clung to the titles and honours desperately and wanted to keep the lifestyle which is the opposite of what is happening now. Though the Duke and Wallis found out quickly that their lives were quite boring and lonely despite the notoriety.
We all know now that Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan have made their announcement on Instagram no less about their branching into a new role living between Canada and the UK . This announcement was made without any prior notice to the Queen, Harry’s grandmother and to his father Prince Charles. The Queen learned of Harry and Meghan’s plans watching the evening news on television. It is beyond word how disrespectful and hurtful to show such callous behaviour. Harry should know better it is after all his family, Meghan well I am not so sure coming from a very dysfunctional family.
Trouble was brewing since the marriage of this pair, Meghan comes from a very different background and culture and was obviously unprepared for a role within the Royal Family. Others like her had difficulties, think of Sophie Countess Wessex, Fergie Duchess of York and Diana, in comparison Meghan has had a easy time of it. I understand it is very difficult to understand how the institution of the Royal Family functions for a common mortal. However she was given support and her Father-in-Law Prince Charles was helpful and generous to her, the Queen also ensured that she was made welcome and allowed her to ease herself into the role of a Royal Family member.
There was plenty of trouble with staff and then with housing, moving from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage after a 3 million pound renovation paid for by Grandmother the Queen. Meghan was dubbed difficult Meghan. Other problems surfaced when Meghan realized that her husband was not so important after all, now that Prince William and Catherine have 3 children, George, Charlotte and Louis. Harry is now 6th in line and very unlikely to ever become king. The Sussex are reduced to a role of representing the Crown, being nice, kind and helpful that is their role now. It is also obvious that Harry and Meghan do not like to be held to account. The Media noticed that they promote the environment but at the same time take private jets to their destinations. Harry is bored stiff by Official functions which are part and parcel of life at Court.
After getting their 6 weeks vacation on Vancouver Island in Canada to think and reflect based on preliminary discussions they had with Prince Charles, Prince William, the Queen and advisors on their future role and despite being told to be patient by the Queen at Christmas time while a formula was being devised to accommodate them, Harry and Meghan went ahead with their announcement. This matter is complicated because it involves funding despite their saying that they would be financially independent at this time their personal private wealth is about $45 million dollars US. There is also the matter of their security given that they are internationally protected persons, meaning that security detail must accompany them everywhere. That is also paid for by taxpayers. If they move to Canada or if they visit the USA who would pay?
Currently they were receiving the Sovereign’s Grant which covered 5% of their expenses and the rest came from Prince Charles through the Duchy of Cornwall. Now the Grant is gone and the portion paid by Charles is in jeopardy given that the British Government, Parliament and the public will have a word to say about it. Would taxpayers agree to fund a Prince who is no longer part of the institution? Not likely it has been reported this morning that 67% of Brits are against any monies coming their way now. You cannot only perform some functions part of the year and merchandize your brand, it would lead to conflict of interest charges. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex tried it 30 years ago and it was a fiasco.
Meghan as of today is now back in Vancouver with baby Archie, which was left behind with his nanny and staff while the couple returned to London to make their announcement. There is no plans for her to return to the UK. Harry is now scheduled to meet with his father and later with the Queen who is said to be extremely upset. Many in the public are asking why is Her Majesty being put through this at her age, she will be 94 in April. Prince Philip is ill and 98, Harry refused to return to England at Christmas time to be with his grand parents. Many are asking who is advising Harry to behave in this fashion? Fingers are pointed at Meghan, there is really no one else to explain this change in him towards his family since his marriage.
Another important point that is being missed is that we are dealing here with a dynasty, lineage and succession is everything or the only thing. Many noticed on the Christmas Day message from the Queen, the pictures on her desk, her father King George VI, Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William, Catherine and their children. In the background Prince Philip but no Harry or Meghan. The truth, the Sussexes are not that important anymore in the line of succession. Their role is very different from that of Prince William and Catherine. It is a simple reality and nothing to do with excluding anyone.
The latest photo issued by Buckingham Palace show that succession, in front of the Throne you have the Queen, Prince Charles who will succeed her, Prince William his son and heir and Prince George. That is the future, maybe this is what Meghan failed to understand, the rigidity of the system, a system that cannot be changed because it represents stability, continuity and tradition for the nation and the Commonwealth.
As for Harry and Meghan, whatever happens now, we can wish them good luck as they fade from public view. Many are predicting that it will not go well for them, you cannot divorce yourself from your family and like his great uncle the Duke of Windsor, Harry may find life to be very lonely on the outside.
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