Now that they have performed their last public duties as royals, how long will Harry and Meghan be in the characterless inland water on North Saanich, Vancouver Island?
In their previous lives they could walk along the banks of the Thames, enjoy the running of Windsor Great Park, hang out with the Clooneys on the road in Sonning. Yoga, Wholefoods, designer clothing outlets were all close by.
What are their lifestyle options in a suburb of Canada? Their new home is conveniently located to the local airport, a few motels, and coffee shops.
The main activities are walking with dogs, walking in the local parks, fishing and visiting botanical gardens.
It sounds like the perfect place for a couple of retired people, or retired bankers who want to paint – that is hardly the basis you would expect for one of the world’s most glamorous couples.
Neighbors are the actor Ryan Reynolds, and five times married 70-year-old music producer David Foster.
That’s about it. Vancouver Island is where chic Canadians start living the ‘simple’ life. Simply replace ‘boring’.
Meghan Markle is pictured with her two dogs with baby Archie in her arms on Vancouver Island, Canada
This relatively young couple seems to want to escape the limitations of the British monarchy, the snobbishness and minor mindedness of some British – so pick somewhere far away – underpopulated Vancouver Island, with spruce in all directions, ice-cold winters and a short six-week summer – may seem understandable.
But in reality it’s just weird. Instead of Lake Como, they have a rocky beach with gray skies above your head. Instead of Venice Beach, Los Angeles, there is the local steakhouse.
It’s not like they’ve escaped the paparazzi – Meghan walked into a local park and was furious when he discovered a photographer shooting away with a long lens hidden under a tree.
Canada may have stricter privacy laws, but this pair will always be the subject of media attention, and thinking differently is naive.
Pervers have turned Harry and Meghan away from celebrities (with well-organized security) where friends like Serena Williams – for example, California or Florida – rented a mansion on the waterfront of South Vancouver Island, built in a boring international style. It can be on Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario or in Chicago.
From cute Frogmore Cottage with Windsor Castle down the road, access to a private chapel and millions of pounds of art to this?
Prince Harry is pictured with baby Archie during the six-week Christmas vacation from him and Meghan on Vancouver Island last year
Their rented house certainly has pretensions to grandeur – 10,000 square feet of space, with a large guest house and 8 bedrooms, it features an imported 17th-century fireplace, a games room and wine tasting – sounds more suited to the Beckham team than Harry and his healthy living wife and baby Archie.
Maybe it can grow up in a series of stately homes with servants around every corner after a while (I wouldn’t find that), but Harry and Meghan have opted for a lifestyle that I can only describe as an ‘international first-class departure lounge’.
Have we British really made the Duke and Duchess of Sussex so upset that they prefer the existence of a drum in the center of Victoria, with its limited choice of good food and trendy cafes?
They have turned their back on the grim humor of the British for the flow of clean-living middle-class Canadians.
This is a country where the press does not like to talk about the politics of things in case it keeps people from standing in public office!
If Canada is so fantastic, how come so many famous Canadians live somewhere else?
The couple stayed at this $ 18 million property on Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Bryan Adams lives in Chelsea, Ryan Rosling in Hollywood and Celine Dion is in the front row of a fashion show in Paris or sings in Las Vegas.
My good friend is a Canadian film producer who admits that the main disadvantage of his countrymen is an infallible ability to be nice, so nice actually that you want to scream.
He has chosen to live in London, where people are edgy, sometimes rude, and there are new art galleries, funky cafes and great theater to stimulate and engage you.
Spending six weeks (as the Sussex couple did during the Christmas holidays) on Vancouver Island surrounded by trees and a large television may be a new experience.
But would you choose to establish permanent roots in a country where satire does not exist? Where’s none? Do I have news for you or Frankie Boyle?
Meghan certainly enjoyed living in Toronto for seven years, but during that time she was constantly working on Suits and tended to hang out with her colleagues.
Toronto is hardly London, but it is the center of civilization compared to Vancouver or Victoria. It is not as if Canada’s empty, wide spaces produce clean, young people.
The average age at which they start drinking is 13 and there is a huge alcohol problem – maybe it’s the lack of things to do.
They will still retain their Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor, but will pay commercial rent
I married a Canadian with family in Vancouver. To cope with my difficult mother-in-law, we spent our time fishing, sailing and staying in a log cabin on the island of Gabriola.
Never again. After walking up and down for fourteen days, looking at nothing but pine trees, catching more fish than you can ever eat and buying a sweater with a whale on it, what else do you need to do?
Pooping in a compost toilet has marked me for life – but I cannot imagine that Harry and Meghan will experience that, no matter how much they want their ecological data.
How can this stylish couple choose as stylish and dreary as Canada?
What cuisine has Canada given the world – except maple syrup, bacon and a disgusting dish called Poutine, which consists of cheese curd, chips and brown sauce.
The Canadians of Smiley also seem to have a secret chip on their shoulder, worried that their country will be considered equivalent to (or even better than) anywhere else in the world, especially the UK and the US.
Some Canadian newspapers have stated that the ex-royal couple cannot get too big, because that “would have an impact on the Canadian monarchy” – I think they mean that Canada does not want someone to put Royal their prime minister on stage – yes , Justin Trudeau the man notorious for his inappropriate fancy dress and who did not turn black once, but at least three times during his student days.
Harry and Meghan, it’s not too late to come home.