Fit for Royalty: The Duke and Duchess should consider… Winnipeg?

By | January 13, 2020

Now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made official plans to spend more time in Canada, many are wondering where the royal couple might settle down.

Rumour has it, Harry and Meghan have their sights set on British Columbia. But perhaps they could be convinced to consider the unique charm of Winnipeg?

Queen agrees to let Harry and Meghan live part-time in Canada and we thought, why not Winnipeg? 2:27

After all, the city is home to the Royal Canadian Mint, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, even pop-rock band, Royal Canoe.

The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre says it would welcome the couple with open arms. Artistic director Kelly Thornton says it might even offer Meghan some acting work.

“There’s some juicy roles for her,” she says. “Perhaps even in musical theatre. She would do really well in some of our shows next year.”

Royal MTC artistic director Kelly Thorton says there could be ‘some juicy roles’ for Duchess of Sussex Meghan Merkle, if she and Duke Harry came to Winnipeg. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Thornton says the theatre would roll out the red carpet for the Duke and Duchess, at their annual Black and White Gala Ball.

“Our childminders would be standing by, while they get comp tickets to any of our shows,” said Thornton with a chuckle.

The RMTC was given its royal designation during Queen Elizabeth’s official visit to Winnipeg in 2010. The Queen also visited the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, presenting it with a piece of history. 

Just inside the museum’s guest entrance is a stone taken from a field in Runnymede, England. It’s from the same spot where the Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215.

Jacques Lavergne, of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, joked that the museum would develop a special membership for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex if they moved to Winnipeg. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

The museum is also extending the couple an eager invitation. 

“Both the Duchess and the Prince have demonstrated their interest in different human rights causes,” says CMHR Vice-President of Visitor Experience and Engagement, Jacques Lavergne. “There is a clear link between the museum and their interests.” 

He joked, the CMHR would come up with a special membership category for the couple, to give them the royal treatment. 

“Maybe have a private tour with the CEO,” says Lavergne, with a smile.

Across town is the bakery that catered to previous royal visits. High Tea Bakery Owner Belinda Bigold says they made hundreds of their famous Imperial Cookies for the Queen’s visit in 2010, and another regal batch when Prince Charles came to Winnipeg in 2014.

High Tea Bakery Owner Belinda Bigold is prepared for any future royal baking duties, as she was when the Queen visited in 2010, and Prince Charles in 2014. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Bigold says her shop is ready to handle any future royal baking duties.

“I think we strike a nice balance,” she says. “We’ve served grandma and dad. We’re also a little bit eclectic, so maybe the artistic side would appeal to Meghan.”

The Duke and Duchess say they plan to be financially independent, but presumably, they’d still need a home fit for a prince. A new Royal Lepage listing in Crescentwood could suit their budget.

The century-old mansion on Ruskin Row has six bedrooms, five baths, a grand wooden staircase and an elegant dining room.

At $1.2 million, it’s likely a lot more than they could get for that price in B.C. And if the growing royal family wants more room, the historic Fort Garry Hotel is also up for sale. The asking price on that property is a mere $40 million.