The bombshell news that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – were not only seeking to partially quit the Royal Family but also take up part-time residence in Canada may have set the hearts of monarchists and celebrity watchers aflutter, but that doesn’t mean Canadians are eager to subsidize the couple’s living costs when they’re in the country.
The latest public opinion survey from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that the prince’s personal popularity does not extend to great enthusiasm over the royal couple’s expected relocation.
Nor do Canadians care to pay for his and his wife’s security and other expenditures associated with their stated intention to spend at least part of the year in Canada, while “stepping back” from official duties. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Canadians say “no thank you” to the prospect.
This study also finds that while respect and affection for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is broad-based and strong, Canadians may be at a crossroads over the country’s future with the crown as head of state.
Indeed, two-thirds (66%) say the House of Windsor is losing or has lost relevance, while nearly half (45%) say Canada should not continue as a constitutional monarchy for generations and generations to come. That represents an increase in this point of view from a similar study four years ago. The revelations come at what the Queen herself refers to as a “bumpy” time for her family, and scandals and public conflict worthy of a TV drama rather than real life rock the royals.
Paradoxically, Prince Harry is the most personally popular member of the Royal Family among Canadians; 69 per cent view him favourably. However, he and his uncle, the disgraced Prince Andrew, are also most likely to be viewed as celebrities rather than working royals.
Quebecers are most likely to say they’ll be “upset” if the Sussexes take up part time residence in Canada (17%). But like millions across the country, the main reaction of people in la belle province in ennui: more than half (56%) say they “don’t care”.
There is little consensus over what, if anything, might replace the monarch as Canada’s head of state. Just over one-quarter (27%) say the prime minister should become head of state, while one-in-five (19%) say the head of state should be the Governor General, but without ties to Britain.
You can read the full report here.