ZOOMER Magazine

From the Editor

Suzanne Boyd


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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