While Buckingham Palace has yet to finalize exit plans for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, he may be sending the public his own message that he’s ready to leave. The popular royal reportedly hopes to join his wife and son in Canada, where many understand the couple’s desire to get away from Britain’s relentless tabloids.
Harry posted a video to Instagram on Thursday of what could be his last royal engagement. The video, announcing draws for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, was set to a song that included the lyrics “I’d like to leave the country.”
Speculation around Vancouver as his destination has risen after Meghan’s visits to two women’s charities in recent days, and locals seem ready to welcome them.
One Canadian expressed sympathy for their attempts to flee the tabloid press. “People here should just leave them alone but they can’t,” he said. “The media, local radio stations, it’s really unfortunate you can’t just let people live their lives the way they want to live it.”
Fellow resident Caitlin Mellor said it was “exciting” the couple might pick the city for their new home. “They’re kind of a distant part of our country’s history but it’s still pretty cool,” she said.
Canada is part of the Commonwealth, a group of nations once under British rule and where the queen is still officially “head of state” while symbolically granting power to the acting government.
Despite the ties between the two countries, it’s unclear what royal status Harry and Meghan will maintain if they start living in Canada.
Shawn Wade of British Columbia’s Royal Commonwealth Society said he thinks Harry should not have trouble fitting in, but that any question of the prince’s special status remains to be seen. “He’ll be living here. Now, whether he’ll be just a private permanent resident or whether he’ll take on some duties, I don’t know,” Wade said.
Destination B.C., the official tourism bureau of British Columbia, estimated that press coverage of Prince William and wife Kate Middleton’s 2016 visit was worth more than $1.5 million in free advertising for the commonwealth.
If the enormous price tag is anything to go by, one thing is certain: Where Harry and Meghan go, money is expected to follow.