From the Editor

Suzanne Boyd

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS -

PRINCE HARRY, Meghan Markle to hon­ey­moon in world’s most bor­ing place,” blared the head­line from the New York Post’s no­to­ri­ous Page Six gossip col­umn. It was re­fer­ring to re­ports, still un­con­firmed at press time, that the newly mar­ried and minted Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex would take their post-wed­ding hia­tus in Al­berta, specif­i­cally at the Fair­mont Jasper Park Lodge. This re­mote high-end re­sort sit­u­ated in Jasper Na­tional Park also hap­pens to be an UNESCO World Her­itage Site.

What’s not to like? We took par­tic­u­lar um­brage here at Zoomer at this state­ment com­ing as it did just as we were putting this is­sue, cel­e­brat­ing un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ences in some of Canada’s most mag­i­cal spots, to bed. And what’s with the there-they-go-again–ism? Hadn’t Amer­ica’s self-pro­claimed “pa­per of record,” the New York Times, in­formed its cit­i­zens that “With the Rise of Justin Trudeau, Canada is Sud­denly … Hip ” back in 2016 – its own in­fa­mous head­line? In­fa­mous be­cause Cana­di­ans have al­ways been hip or let’s call it cool as – say – ice. We have spent more than a cen­tury ex­port­ing iconic cul­tural change­mak­ers to the U.S. and be­yond, but have al­ways been too cool to care if we were con­sid­ered such. And how deep in the con­crete jun­gle does one’s soul have to be lost to con­tem­plate pris­tine na­ture and ma­jes­tic wildlife and end up at bor­ing?

Cer­tainly not Harry’s great-grea­tun­cle Ed­ward, Duke of Wind­sor, who pur­chased his 4,000-acre Al­berta ranch in 1919 and which he vis­ited with his own Amer­i­can Duchess in the ’40s and ’50s. Nor his great­grand­par­ents King Ge­orge VI and Queen El­iz­a­beth who were hosted at Jasper Park Lodge on their in­au­gu­ral Royal Tour in 1939.

That tour would have been a daunt­ing one – after all, the ab­di­ca­tion of the Duke of Wind­sor, then Ed­ward VIII, was fresh. The charis­matic Ed­ward was the first mod­ern royal with a global celebrity. In his royal tour of Canada, in 1919, when he was the Prince of Wales, un­usu­ally for the re­moved roy­als, throngs of scream­ing crowds lined his pa­rade route. Could Ge­orge VI – with his nat­u­ral shy­ness and a speech im­ped­i­ment as re­counted in The King’s Speech – rise to the oc­ca­sion and ce­ment the fu­ture of the monar­chy and its hold on the Com­mon­wealth?

In 2011, an­other just-mar­ried Duke and Duchess, that of Cam­bridge, made their own in­aug- ural tour of Canada to a rap­tur­ous wel­come. Be­fore de­part­ing, Prince Wil­liam said, “In 1939, my great­grand­mother, Queen El­iz­a­beth the Queen Mother, said of her first tour of Canada with her hus­band, King Ge­orge VI: ‘Canada made us.’ Cather­ine and I now know very well what she meant.” And ex­actly where was the Prince when said speech was given? You guessed it, Al­berta.

The Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex’s courtship was a transatlantic one fly­ing be­tween Lon­don and Toronto, where the Cal­i­for­nia-bred Ms. Markle had lived and worked for seven years. The news of the cou­ple’s re­la­tion­ship broke while the Prince was with his bride-tobe in our city. The pair made their of­fi­cial de­but at the Prince’s 2017 In­vic­tus Games, its third edi­tion, held in Toronto and its most suc­cess­ful show­ing yet.

So, sorry, not sorry, if Canada feels that we helped make Harry and Meghan, too. Not ex­cit­ing, Page Six, not ex­cit­ing at all.

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