Ever since their bombshell announcement that they plan to step back from their royal duties and split their time between the U.K. and North America, speculation about the future of Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and son Archie has run rampant.
After it was learned they spent Christmas at a sprawling waterfront, multi-million dollar mansion on Vancouver Island, rumoured to be owned by a Russian billionaire, the assumption seems to be Canada, and B.C. in particular, is going to be the landing spot for the young royals.
And that has community boosters across the province making (mostly tongue-in-cheek) suggestions about why their cities and towns would be the perfect new part-time home for Duke, Duchess and baby of Sussex.
So, let me toss my two cents worth into the mix.
I suggest West Kelowna, or as I like to call it the People’s Independent Republic of West Kelowna. (There’s a long story associated with that name that I won’t get into here, but suffice to say it has lot to do with the fact resident of my hometown find it hard to agree on much and have been known to go their own way in many issues.)
But I digress. Back to the Sussexs, or is that Sussexi? Who knows.
I not only suggest West Kelowna as their new home, I have a specific neighbourhood in mind—Glenrosa.
When my now ex-wife and baby daughter (at the time. She’s now 24) and I were starting out in the Okanagan, we moved to Glenrosa because property was fairly cheap by local standards. Amenities such as sidewalks and street lighting were a little in the slim side but there were plenty of other young families there and place for kid to run around and be, well, kids.
It’s good neighbourhood for a young family like the Sussexs to start off in. I hear that they will have to get financial help from Harry’s dad, Prince Charles, so that could come in handy given the increase in house prices in the Central Okanagan.
Glenrosa is a friendly neighbourhood so I’m sure Harry could borrow a few tools from the neighbours as he works on the fixer-upper they could buy with dad’s money. Just remember to return them Harry. You don’t want to be THAT neighbour.
Meghan could join the local parent advisory committee at the elementary school where son Archie goes, travelling to and from school on the bus with other, less regal kids, and his large royal body guard taking up two of the seats on the bus. Bet the school district will charge extra for him.
I hear Harry and Meghan like hiking on trails and there is a plenty of that in the area.
Glenrosa is a just a short drive in the Jag from downtown Westbank, where they can shop, dine and catch a movie on date night, when they leave little Archie and his aforementioned body guard in the care of the teen-aged babysitter who lives next door.
I hear the film industry in the Okanagan is growing so I’m sure Meghan, an actress, could get a few jobs in commercials shot here to supplement the family income. As for Harry, Gorman Lumber is often hiring at the mill, so he could find work there.
All in all, I think Glenrosa’s would be ideal for a young couple starting out, trying to make it on their own and become financially independent.
If the couple and their kid really want to fade into anonymity and ditch those pesky royal duties back home in jolly old England, where better than West Kelowna?
Who needs life on an island, renting a mansion that is way to big for a small, young family starting out with their own bodyguard—and don’t get me started on the housework required for such big, big place and the toll that would take on a working family.
If Harry and Meghan are serious about wanting to get away from it all, I suggest Glenrosa.
So, to Harry, Meghan, Archie and the bodyguard, I say welcome to the neighbourhood.
Alistair Waters is an editor with Black Press in Kelowna.