Meghan and Harry’s show could grow republican sentiment in Canada

Prince Harry: Queen ‘would’ve been advised by Charles’ says expert

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new Netflix show could help republican sentiment grow, a leading anti-monarchy campaign group in Canada has warned. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who lived at a luxurious waterfront home on Vancouver Island in 2020, revealed they hoped to move to the North American Commonwealth country as a part of Megxit. During their six-part Netflix docuseries, the royal couple also tapped into Commonwealth concerns about the Royal Family’s relationship with the British Empire by inviting experts to share their thoughts.

Author Afua Hirsch, who previously called for Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square to be pulled down, branded the Commonwealth as “Empire 2.0”.

Professor Kehinde Andrews added: “It’s not changed a thing, they’ve just got better PR.

“If you look at the black people in the Commonwealth, well their conditions are almost just as bad as they were 50 or 100 years ago.”

Citizens for a Canadian Republic director Tom Freda suggested such references could assist his anti-monarchy campaign.

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Meghan and Harry's series could grow republican sentiment, warns Canadian campaign group

Meghan and Harry’s series could grow republican sentiment, warns Canadian campaign group (Image: Getty)

King Charles was snubbed by Quebec when it decided officials no longer needed to swear an oath.

King Charles was snubbed by Quebec when it decided officials no longer needed to swear an oath. (Image: Getty)

When asked if the docuseries could help Citizens for a Canadian Republic, Mr Freda told Express.co.uk: “Yes. It could be argued that Canada is the most multicultural country on the planet.

“That has definitely factored into the general debate on the relevance of the monarchy.

“Many new Canadians come from regions of the world that have far more negative experiences with colonialism and empire.”

Mr Freda, who described decolonization and slavery as one of “several motivations” helping boost anti-monarchy sentiments in Canada, added: “However, any effect the docuseries has on republicanism here could be incidental.”

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released the second part of their Netflix docuseries on December 15.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released the second part of their Netflix docuseries on December 15. (Image: Getty)

Justin Trudeau refused to reopen the constitutional debate after the Queen's death in September.

Justin Trudeau refused to reopen the constitutional debate after the Queen’s death in September. (Image: Getty)

An opinion poll earlier this year found that a plurality of Canadians would back having an elected head of state, with Francophone Quebec taking an extra step by ending its mandatory oath to King Charles last month.

However, in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to reopen the constitutional debate and said he appreciated the “steadiness” of the current system.

Freda took aim at Mr Trudeau and also claimed the Royal Family’s response to the docuseries could be significant.

He said: “So far, our Government has been tepid in their willingness to draw a conclusion that the monarchy is a bad fit for 21st century Canada.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hatched several plans to relocate to the Commonwealth.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hatched several plans to relocate to the Commonwealth. (Image: Getty)

Author Afua Hirsch branded the Commonwealth as “Empire 2.0”.

Author Afua Hirsch branded the Commonwealth as “Empire 2.0”. (Image: Getty)

“However, if Buckingham Palace’s response is significant enough to make the news here, there could be some benefit.”

Canadians also seem markedly more sympathetic to Megxit compared to Brits.

A majority of Canadians believe Meghan was treated “unfairly” due to her race, an IPSOS opinion poll from 2021 has revealed.

In comparison, a YouGov survey from around the same time indicated that just one-in-five Britons believe the Royal Family is racist.

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Canadians also seem markedly more sympathetic to Megxit compared to Brits.

Canadians also seem markedly more sympathetic to Megxit compared to Brits. (Image: Getty)

The concept of the Commonwealth came under fire in the Netflix docuseries.

The concept of the Commonwealth came under fire in the Netflix docuseries. (Image: Getty)

The Duchess of Sussex previously lived in Toronto when she starred as Rachel Zayne in the American legal drama Suits.

However, it was the Duke who revealed that the couple hatched alternative plans to relocate to New Zealand and South Africa.

During episode five of ‘Harry & Meghan’, the 38-year-old even alleged Buckingham Palace insiders leaked the potential moves to the press.

Despite Mr Freda’s comments, a separate anti-monarchy campaign group in another corner of the Commonwealth claimed the Netflix docuseries will do little to aid their republican campaign.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in May 2018.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in May 2018. (Image: Getty)

Public opinion in New Zealand about constitutional reform after the Queen's reign is on a knife-edge.

Public opinion in New Zealand about constitutional reform after the Queen’s reign is on a knife-edge (Image: Getty)

New Zealand Republic campaign chair Lewis Holden told Express.co.uk: “Our campaign’s focus is on a New Zealand citizen for head of state, not with whatever the latest drama with Britain’s Royal Family is.

“We doubt that the docuseries in itself will cause a surge in support for a republic.

“It’s just another example of what is now a celebrity institution used by the UK Government to wield soft power around the world.”

Support for the Royal Family in New Zealand appears to be slightly higher than in Canada.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lived at a luxurious waterfront home on Vancouver Island in 2020.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lived at a luxurious waterfront home on Vancouver Island in 2020. (Image: Getty)

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern suggested the Shaky Islands would one day become a republic.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern suggested the Shaky Islands would one day become a republic. (Image: Getty)

According to a survey from 2021, 44 percent of New Zealanders supported severing ties with the Firm after Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

But half of Kiwis indicated they would continue to support New Zealand’s position as a constitutional monarchy after King Charles III succeeded his late mother.

In contrast to Mr. Trudeau, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern suggested that the Land of the Long White Cloud would one day become a republic.

Express.co.uk has approached Buckingham Palace and the Sussexes for comment.



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