People around the world were stunned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement that they would be “stepping down” as senior members of the royal family on Wednesday. In a letter posted to Instagram and on their official website, they explained that they would work to become financially independent, and would be splitting their time between North America and the UK.
The reaction from the UK media and public has been, on the whole, critical of the decision.
People say I'm too critical of Meghan Markle - but she ditched her family, ditched her Dad, ditched most of her old friends, split Harry from William & has now split him from the Royal Family.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 8, 2020
I rest my case. pic.twitter.com/xgKLTt2Y0Z
British tabloid The Sun nicknamed the situation “Megxit,” which was generating lots of buzz on Twitter on Thursday.
Famed London wax museum Madame Tussaud’s weighed in to the foray by removing Meghan and Prince Harry from the display where they formerly stood next to the Queen and Prince Philip.
But Canadians, for the most part, were much more welcoming of the decision announced by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Welcome to Canada
Both individual Canadians and Canada-affiliated businesses were eager to extend an olive branch to the Sussexes, suggesting that Canada would be an ideal place for them to settle.
Coffee chain Tim Hortons tweeted that if they decided to move to Canada, Meghan and Prince Harry would receive free coffee for life (although they received widespread backlash for offering free coffee to two wealthy people when they have been in an ongoing fight with employees over wages and paid breaks):
No pressure, Meghan and Harry, but if you do choose to move to Canada, free coffee for life. Think about it.— Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) January 9, 2020
So are Canadian cities going to prepare Amazon-style bids to be the second home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? Hoping they choose #Ottawa. #Canada #cities #princeharry #royals #royalfamily #toronto #vancouver— Kevin Bourne (@KBTHEBOSS_) January 9, 2020
I have a Very Serious Question re #Megxit. Under what immigration channel would Harry and Meghan actually qualify to immigrate to Canada? Skilled workers? I don't think so. Family sponsorship? Nope. Maybe they would qualify as refugees?— Ian Young (@ianjamesyoung70) January 10, 2020
SO the Duchess and her husband decide to leave the abusive media in the UK and stand on their own 2 feet and ppl STILL coming for her.I hope H&M get to Canada soon.I'll be there to greet them at the airport with poutine and butter tarts! #megexit #Megxit— Nadia Ahern (@NadiaAhernVoice) January 9, 2020
Multiple publications, including the Daily Mail, TMZ and the Toronto Sun are speculating that Canada could be where Meghan and Prince Harry call home. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Canadian music producer David Foster said that he was the one who set up the couple’s recent stay in North Saanich, B.C., as Meghan is a former classmate of Foster’s wife, Katherine McPhee.
“I don't know what [Meghan and Harry’s] next plans are, but I know that it was reinvigorating for them to spend some downtime,” Foster told the Daily Mail, days before the Sussexes announced their intention to live part-time in North America.
PEOPLE also speculated that Meghan and Prince Harry could choose Toronto, because of Meghan’s history filming the television show Suits in the city, or Vancouver, due to their recent positive stay there.
Lending further substance to the suggestion that Meghan and Prince Harry are moving to Canada is rumour that the couple left their son Archie with friends in Canada while they returned to London after their holiday in B.C. Meghan even returned to Canada amid the royal storm as the Queen ordered staff to find a ‘workable solution’ for the couple’s future.
But Buckingham Palace has dismissed the reports that they’ll be moving to Canada as “speculation.”