Meghan Markle, Prince Harry reportedly eyeing Kitsilano mansion
Markle has reportedly expressed interest in a Kitsilano house, which would make her neighbours with Vancouver's Chip Wilson, and allow her to use those Point Grey bike lanes
Let’s get this out of the way first: yes, it’s very weird scraping news about Meghan Markle, who is sipping tea on Vancouver Island as we speak, from the UK tabloid circuit.
But the British media cares a great deal more about the whereabouts of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex than we do, and so it shall remain until we get official word that Harry and Meghan are indeed planning to stay here.
For the time being, at least, my partner and I remain Vancouver’s most compelling mixed-race couple (at least in my estimation), and K.J. Apa remains the city’s most popular Archie.
But the Sussexes’ exit strategy, which sure seems like it leads to the West Coast, continues apace. UK tabloid The Sun, not to be confused with the one I’m currently writing for, reported Friday that Meghan and Harry are eyeing property in Kitsilano.
The six-bedroom, five-bathroom home, located at 3019 Point Grey Road and built in 1912, is listed at $35,880,000. The four-floor residence features several oceanview terraces and manicured private gardens on a 12,297 sq.ft. estate.
Markle has expressed interest in the house, the Sun said, which would make her neighbours with Vancouver’s Chip Wilson, and allow her to use those Point Grey bike lanes everyone got so mad about a few years back. Not such a bad investment now that they’ve potentially attracted a flippin’ prince, are they?
It sure looks like a home fit for a prince, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s hardly a done deal, especially as the Realtor representing the listing said he had no idea that the royals were interested in the property.
“I haven’t had any requests at all for showings in the past week,” said Daniel Tan, denying that Markle stopped by the home during her recent visit or that he’s had any contact with the couple at all.
Tan was excited, however, to learn that the property was suddenly a source of much speculation, calling it “incredible news.”
Prince Harry wrapped up his “very constructive discussions” with Queen Elizabeth earlier this week, and while he remained at London’s Buckingham Palace through Thursday to take part in the draw for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, that was his last obligation, according to reports.
The 35-year-old is expected to fly to Canada as early as this weekend, rather than attending a planned reception at Buckingham Palace for Monday’s UK-Africa Investment Summit, at which point he will join his partner and the wee one on the West Coast. But are they really planning to live amongst us?
It would certainly explain the charitable visits, as Markle stopped by the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and Justice For Girls earlier this week, spending about an hour with staff at each location. That was thoughtful and plenty savvy. A great way to ingratiate yourself to this community, after all, is to support local charities — though the best way remains to smoke a big fat joint with Seth Rogen in a Netflix special. (I wouldn’t rule it out. Markle seems cool.)
The Downtown Eastside tour also served to ensure the local coverage had a friendlier tone than the UK press, who once dedicated an entire news cycle to speculation that Markle had ugly feet.
According to the tabloids, this week’s visit was just a day trip. By Thursday, Markle was back at Mille Fleurs, the &14 million North Saanich mansion where she’s been hiding out, and that afternoon she was spotted outside Victoria International Airport in a Land Rover Discovery, waiting to pick up her Pilates instructor.
That’s her first misstep. Importing a fitness guru? You may not be able to find much entertainment in North Saanich, but Pilates instructors are hardly in short supply. Everyone on the island is very limber, since the only thing to do there is mountaintop stretching.
Meanwhile, in another sign that the Sussexes are indeed set to relocate, several outlets are reporting that staff at Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s Windsor home, are being redeployed. Makes sense. As they say in England, why pay the bogman if no one uses the bog?
What else have we in Vancouver learned about this ongoing saga? That the British press struggles, on occasion, to differentiate Vancouver from Vancouver Island, not to mention West Vancouver from the west side of Vancouver. Wait until they find out there are actually two Vancouvers in the region, and neither one of them is on an island.
Some Brits, meanwhile, are doing their best to paint Canada as a dangerous place — a Land of the Lost, full of murder bears and face-eating bugs. From the Daily Mail:
For a start there’s the wildlife. Although Canadians are universally sanguine about bears, the animals are psychopaths. And even the ones that weigh 100 st can move faster than the most fleet of foot among us.
[…} The blackfly has razor sharp jaws which puncture the skin. Blood streams out. If you are foolish enough to venture out for a walk without your protective head net, your family will run away screaming the moment they catch sight of you. That is because you will have no face left.
Laugh about the psychotic bears all you want, but the writer has a point. Considering how many bears we destroy in this province annually, it’s clear that British Columbians find them just as scary as the article suggests. And the blackflies can be very bitey, though I’ve never seen them take a man’s face off. The writer is thinking about terminators. We don’t have those here.
We may soon have royals, however. Keep an eye out at Jericho Beach.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as the Markles. We apologize for the error.
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