Take a moment and consider the alternate headlines in the British tabloids IF the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had decided to go to Sandringham for Christmas. There would have been “feud” headlines, likely with the Cambridges. There would have been headlines about the Queen and/or Charles telling the Sussexes to stop doing something, or to start doing something, because the point is that the Sussexes need to be told off in some way (according to the tabs). There would comparison fashion photos for the Christmas church-walk, and accusations of the Sussexes trying to steal the thunder of Will/Kate/George/Charlotte/Charles et al. All in all, I’m glad the Sussexes avoided all of it. But of course, there are still tons of complaints. Like, How Dare They Rent a Mansion.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent their first Christmas with baby Archie in a $14.1 million waterfront mansion owned by a mystery multi-millionaire, DailyMail.com can reveal. The royal family and the Duchess of Sussex’s mother Doria Ragland enjoyed time in one of the most idyllic spots on Vancouver Island.
The eight-bedroom gated estate on Vancouver Island, Canada, boasts two beaches and views across the peninsula from the four acre property. Locals in the island’s rural community of North Saanich noticed cameras and fences erected at the property as early as December 19, and the mansion is now swarming with security guards. One officer from the couple’s royal protection team was spotted patrolling the roads dressed in a Barbour jacket and driving a black Range Rover, and two other British guards were seen flying out from nearby Victoria International Airport, swapping in for new officers.
Locals described the weather as ‘excellent’ for the time of year. The royal couple have enjoyed mostly sunshine with highs of 48F during the day and lows of 32F at night. On Christmas day there was light rain in the morning with a temperature of 41F, which brightened into sunshine with clouds and 43F for the afternoon.
The French country-inspired mansion was listed by Sotheby’s in 2012 for $18,459,645 Canadian dollars ($14.1 million USD, £10.7 million) fully furnished, with a 11,416 square foot main house with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms and a 2,349 square foot guest cottage with three beds and two baths.
“Locals…noticed cameras and fences erected at the property as early as December 19…” Yeah, the Sussexes left the UK in mid to late November? My theory is still that they were probably somewhere else in Canada – Toronto, most likely – for several weeks, and they only traveled to Vancouver Island in mid-December. They haven’t been staying at this fancy mansion the entire time. But the fact that they’re renting a fancy mansion… well, you can imagine the sniffs and racist dog-whistling. How Dare Meghan Stay Somewhere Nice. That’s all it amounts to. Meanwhile, the Cambridges always rent luxury properties too, and the buzz in the UK tabloids is “oooh, how fancy and inspo!”
Also: Harry and Meghan have officially filed to register the “Sussex Royal” as a trademark. I could have sworn they did this already, but maybe the whole trademark thing is complicated and and multinational. The British papers are trying to make it sound like Meghan is going to start hawking Sussex Royal-branded tchotchkes, but the reality is that they’re seeking these trademarks entirely for their charitable foundation.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Avalon Red.