Not a Very Private Life

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the UK for a private life in Canada but, the press still follows them. Photo from Flickr.

How the Canadian and British media are covering “Megxit” and the royal move to Canada

By Joshua Rey

It wasn’t long after elite royal family members Harry and Meghan decided to leave their royal life behind and start a new one in Canada that British press and Canadian freelancers swarmed the city of Victoria, B.C. awaiting the not-so-royal couple. 

The royal move has highlighted the differences between Canadian and British press culture. The British press methods being made well known during the time of Princess Dianna. 

The couple has settled in Northern Saanich where they have said they hope to live a rural life of peace and comfort as they raise their son Archie. 

CHEK news, the local station in the region, has been in the spotlight recently with British, and other tabloids from around the globe reaching out to get just a little glimpse of what the couple are up to. 

Scott Fee the news director of CHEK said in an interview that although the world seems to have a dire desire to know everything about this couple’s new Canadian West Coast life, the station has tried to keep some distance. A distance that the Islanders have expressed is necessary. He said that some islanders are outraged by reporters who have followed the couple into the woods while on an afternoon walk. Trying to snatch that money making photo of Meghan walking down the street is not what the locals are trying to do, or want to see.

“I think the locals are embracing it, I think they are going to want people to leave them alone,” Fee said in an interview with the BBC.  

Though not all British media are forcing personal coverage of the couple 

Daniel Levitt, an interactive journalist based in London also said the media should leave Harry and Meghan alone.  

“I honestly don’t think they should be covered and would prefer the media to cover issues that actually matter,” said Levitt. 

Levitt said that British newspapers can be broken down into two groups: the tabloids and the broadsheets. The tabloids; The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Mirror cover the royals in depth, whereas others such as, The Guardian and The Times are less focused with them, and add thoughtful analysis you may not read anywhere else.

Levitt also said  the reception to Harry and Meghan leaving was quite negative and also said Canada is the best place for them to have a private life.

“The response to Harry and Meghan was pretty atrocious, with the main sentiment being ‘how dare they want private lives,’” Levitt said. 

Levitt said that after having visited Toronto many times, picking Canada as a county to live a more private life is a well thought out decision. “They couldn’t have picked a better country to live as private life as possible, if any celebrity wants a quieter life, go to Canada.”

As for Canadians the people of Victoria still do have interest in the story but the interest, according to Fee is simply not as in depth as it is in the U.K. Fee said that CHEK will be on the lookout for anything interesting the couple does while still keeping a Canadian-style distance allowing them to simply live the life they have come here to experience. 

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