In this Thursday, Jan.18, 2018 file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle leave after a visit to Cardiff Castle in Cardiff, Wales. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, FILE)

Harry and Meghan can ‘live a little less formal’ in Canada, says Monarchist League

Group says Canada is natural fit, while Ottawa ambiguous on who will cover couple’s security costs

A Canadian monarchist says Prince Harry and Meghan’s part-time move to Canada marks the first time in recent history that the royals will maintain a regular presence in the country.

The Queen granted her seal of approval Monday to the plan that will see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex split their time between Canada and the U.K. during a “period of transition.”

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the Queen said in a statement.

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”

Robert Finch, chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada, says Canada is a natural fit for the young royals, allowing them to maintain their connection to the Crown while offering relief from the intense scrutiny they face in the U.K.

“When Harry goes to store here in Canada, his grandmother’s still on the coin, right?” Finch said. “Canada’s a vast country, and sometimes it’s nice to be lost in the vastness of it.”

“I think many members of the royal family have seen how they can live a little less formal, be a little less stuffy, really let their hair down.”

Finch said the prospect of royals living among us could serve as a constant reminder to Canadians of the country’s ties to the monarchy.

The Sussexes’ move also raises the possibility that baby Archie will grow up as a Canadian, he said, with a local accent to boot.

Finch expects that many Canadians will be excited to see some regal glamour close to home, but disgruntled taxpayers might take issue with the prospect of footing the bill for Harry and Meghan’s lifestyle.

Speaking to reporters in Toronto, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said there haven’t been any discussions about who will cover the couple’s security costs.

“We haven’t spent any time thinking about this issue,” Morneau said Monday. ”We obviously are always looking to make sure that as a member of the Commonwealth that we play a role.”

To become permanent legal residents of Canada, members of the Royal Family would have to apply through the normal immigration process, said Citizenship and Immigration spokesperson Beatrice Fenelon in a statement.

They’re not required to seek authorization to stay as visitors, Fenelon said.

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press

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