May 19th will be a day of great celebration and happiness for the entire Commonwealth family as Prince Harry weds Meghan Markle.

This will be especially true for Canadians, who widely share the feeling that Harry and Meghan know us, and we know them, in a way that is unique among recent Royal relationships, since a good deal of the couple’s courtship took place in Toronto, culminating in Meghan’s joining Harry in public - and facing the media - during the Toronto Invictus Games in 2017. And of course the Wedding falls during that most high-spirited and Royal of Canadian holidays - affectionately dubbed by many ale lovers as the May 2-4 weekend. This is Victoria Day, named after one of the Mothers of our Confederation - not to mention The Queen’s Official Birthday in Canada.

We’ve all seen Harry grow up, from the poignancy of his walking behind his Mother’s casket to his school days; from dipping his toes into the London party scene to showing his bravery as a soldier in an active and dangerous theatre of war; and then in his emergence as a world traveler who brings a special joie de vivre to the royal duties he undertakes on behalf of The Queen; his particular relationship with Africa exemplified through his charity Sentebale, his and Meghan’s close bonds with William and Catherine as they consider the duties that will fall on them; his wicked sense of humour - who else could sit beside his Grandmother while trading jokes with Michelle Obama on a smart phone? and of course his special challenge to and concern for his fellow warriors wounded in battle.

How Canadians Can Celebrate the Royal Wedding

HOW ABOUT FORWARDING THESE IDEAS TO YOUR EMAIL LIST? A GREAT WAY TO MAKE OTHERS CONSIDER THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WEDDING BEYOND THE HOOPLA - AND TO SHARE WITH THEM IDEAS FOR PROJECTS TO MAKE THE DAY A MEANINGFUL ONE!

The Wedding offers us the chance to make the pomp and circumstance more meaningful for our fellow Canadians. In other words, we have the opportunity to enjoy the glitz but also explain the substance as to why May 19th is important for Canada and the constitutional monarchy that is foundational to our national identity.

Everything we might do reminds ourselves and our extended families that this is not a "British" event of significance only to those living in the UK, nor simply another romance which the tabs enjoy covering - but that it is the wedding of a member of the Canadian Royal Family whose fiancée will become a part of our national family as she enthusiastically joins a life of service and duty.

Here are some projects that can help in realizing that opportunity. Not everyone will feel able to undertake them all, or even any of them - but we hope all will at least consider making one your personal undertaking, a small sign of the reciprocal and personal nature of the Maple Crown which The Queen has exemplified so well during her over 66 years on the Throne.

Building Bridges: Hold an Open House for Shared Viewing and/or
Celebration with Family & Neighbours, New & Old

Whether your living room, den or garden can accommodate 5 or 25, there are certainly many people in your area who would enjoy the fellowship of watching and/or celebrating the Wedding with friendly folk.

You set the hours: if a viewing party, perhaps welcoming guests an hour prior to the Wedding (it will take place at noon British time, so in Canada the start of the ceremony will range from 8:30 am in Newfoundland to 2 am for those living on the Pacific coast) and invite some friends and neighbours, having regard for including newcomers - such as a Syrian refugee - to the event in the true spirit of The Queen’s inclusive nature and of the Crown’s “big tent” under which all Canadians find a place.

The League would like to know about your event (email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) especially if you’d like help with inviting guests, or if you’re willing to host media to cover your event. We can supply a door prize on request.

Depending on your circumstances and budget, you can serve bubbly, but we think most people will opt for coffee and danish, with perhaps a baked egg dish that’s easy to prepare ahead and let guests help themselves. Being together, rather than being extravagant, is what counts. Simplicity is a good word, and mirrors The Queen’s keeping her breakfast cereals in Tupperware containers! Pot luck is a good idea.

Individuals not able to host an event might nonetheless plan a special lunch or dinner for family and/or friends, with a toast to the Royal Couple, maybe even an exchange of inexpensive “wedding gifts” on the same basis as a “Secret Santa” or similar arrangement.

Honour Harry and Meghan by Undertaking Community Service
and/or Making Charitable Gifts

It is natural that many of us, feeling them members of our extended family, wish to share in Harry and Meghan’s happiness by doing what we would do for an engaged couple within our blood family - send a wedding gift. However, most of these gifts, many of which are lovingly crafted by the givers, will never be seen by the Royal couple. Instead, they might be auctioned for charity or at best possibly be displayed in a future exhibition of Royal Wedding gifts. Quite apart from the impossibility of Harry and his family using all these items, there are obviously also security implications for mailing packages to Kensington Palace.

The best gift any Canadian can give is a donation - of time or of money - to your favorite charity.

In the case of money, ask the charity to send a card announcing your gift to Harry and Meghan, or write them yourself - HRH Prince Harry & Ms Meghan Markle, Kensington Palace,. London, W8 4PU, United Kingdom.

In the case of donating community service, why not organize for your family to volunteer at a food bank, soup kitchen or other volunteer-dependent association. You can write the couple and tell them that you gave this very special gift of time to such-and-such a need in your community. Nothing would better please them than to think that The Queen and Royal Family’s devotion to voluntary service is being carried forward in this way. In some communities, you might be able to challenge fellow residents of your block or neighbourhood to do the same - and thus extend the happiness of the Wedding beyond the confines of a single day and beyond those in attendance and watching.

Another simple project is to make (or buy) a bunch of cupcakes, place them on trays and offer them to homeless and marginally-housed persons and others outside of shelters while explaining why it’s a special day. Everyone enjoys a sweet, and in our experience many of the guests already know what the day is, and are happy to join in the festivities.

A project of lasting benefit to a community would be to arrange this coming summer for a tree-planting on your street, at a local park, maybe - with cooperation of officials - outside city hall, a fire hall or library. Labelled with a modest plaque, such a tree would be both an environmentally- responsible project and a living memento of the Wedding Day for years to come.

If you wish to give to a charity of particular significance to Harry and Meghan, you might choose The Royal Foundation of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry (soon to be re-named to include Meghan and reflect the Dukedom widely expected to be conferred on Harry), which is a vehicle by which William and his brother and their spouses carry out their charitable work: www.royalfoundation.com.

Organize a "Day Before" Celebration at Your Workplace

Bring the celebration to your workplace! Most of your co-workers would enjoy a day off from the company cafeteria or a bag lunch on Friday, May 18th - you could organize a pot luck, tap the social fund for a special lunch or a wedding cake or arrange for groups to go out and splurge with a toast at a nearby restaurant (lunch is always more a bargain than dinner!) If money is tight, one can still raise a pop and a slice with friends at the local pizza joint.

Ask Your Child or Grandchild's School to Create
Royal Wedding Awareness Among Students

Contact a sympathetic Principal or teacher, or the Parents' Association, and suggest that your young person's class - or the entire school - undertake an age-appropriate Royal Wedding project. It could easily be four-fold:

- engaging students in a schoolwide or community service project (cleaning up a littered playground, holding a free car wash "sparkle for the Royal Wedding" with donations to a charity, visiting a seniors' centre)
- sending schoolwide greetings to the Royal Couple - a giant Congratulations card signed by all
- creating classroom projects ranging from short speeches on the significance of the occasion to designing posters for the event or publicizing school activities around the Wedding (see above and below) to classroom discussions and essay assignments
- celebrating the event with a party or a dance - perhaps a modest admission charge could be directed to a charity and a letter sent to Harry and Meghan to tell them about it - a special cake in the lunchroom, special decorations in the halls, singing the Royal Anthem at an assembly, a bake sale for charity - anything accessible, imaginative, simple, engaging and fun!

FAQ

Why do Canadians care about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding?

One of the strengths of Canada’s form of government, constitutional monarchy, is that at the apex of our nation is not a symbol, not a political party, not a particular partisan point of view, but another human being, the Monarch. The deepest loyalties of human beings are to other humans. So the Monarch and the Royal Family become a part of our national family, mirroring all the ups and downs and joys and sorrows of our lives. Certainly the union of two people who love each other is one of the most frequent and natural expressions of how fundamental is the family to the organization of our society. The excitement when a wedding take place is a natural expression of our joy at the sharing of that love. Canadians feel that they know Harry and Meghan particularly well, and so we wish them happiness on May 19th just as we do in our families and circle of friends.

What will the couple be called after the wedding?
What title would be given to any children of their marriage?

It is very likely that shortly prior to the wedding, The Queen will grant a Royal Dukedom to Harry, just as she did to William - so that he and Catherine were subsequently known as The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. Media have speculated that the Dukedom of Sussex might well be the title chosen. This is a title associated with Royalty since it was conferred in 1801 on the sixth son of King George III, Prince Augustus Frederick. He died without legitimate heirs in 1843 - and the title became extinct. Any children of Harry and Markle would then be known as Prince or Princess X of Sussex.

Who is paying for the wedding?

Canadians are not responsible for any share of the Wedding’s cost. The Queen will pay for the great majority of the expenses of the Wedding out of her private resources, not from State funds. Of course, as for any major Royal occasion be it in Canada, Britain or anywhere else, the times demand a significant expenditure on security. Those costs are kept under wraps, but British authorities will face a policing and security bill estimated to be from $30-40 million. Against that, one can pit not only the enormous excitement and happiness brought to countless millions around the world, but also in a practical sense, the significant financial benefit reaped by hoteliers, restaurant owners, airline and tour companies, souvenir manufacturers and so on - not to mention the UK Treasury in the form of Value Added Tax - from the huge influx of well-wishers from all over the world.

What role will Harry and Meghan play in the Royal Family?

Harry has for some time been carrying out Royal duties throughout the world on behalf of The Queen, a role that will continue to increase as he is joined by Meghan in the years to come. Harry has also been appointed Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, a responsibility which Meghan will share with him after their wedding. As well as his African charity, Sentebale, Harry also has special relationships with the Military, exemplified by his founding the Invictus Games, most recently hosted last year in Toronto. Meghan has already served as a Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada, worked for the UN promoting women and gender equality issues and been a Counsellor for the charity One Young World.

Media Contacts

* Indicates can speak in English or French; + indicates a Young Monarchist/* Indique peut parler en français ou en anglais; + indique un jeune monarchiste

Dominion Chairman/Président nationale

Robert Finch, Hamilton, ON
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Atlantic Canada/Les maritimes

Barry MacKenzie, Antigonish
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John Yogis, Halifax
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Mary Mills Dunea, PEI/I-P-E
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Prairies/Les prairies

Darcie von Axelstierna, Winnipeg
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Tom Richards, Saskatoon
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Monique Goffinet Miller, Regina
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Robert Falconer, Calgary
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Prof Kenneth Munro, Edmonton
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Ontario

Christina Salamy, Ottawa
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Jamie Burton, Kingston
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Cian Horrobin, Toronto
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Andreas Kyriakos, Toronto *
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Derwin Mak, Toronto
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Chris Lucki, Windsor
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Victoria Occhipinti, Toronto +
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David Archer, Barrie
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Bradley Barbour, Kitchener-Waterloo
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Brendon Bedford, Kitchener
226.750.4422
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Sandra Barker, London
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Québec

Karim Al-Dahah, Montréal *
514.570.1502 ~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Etienne Boisvert, Victoriaville *
819.347.7336 ~ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Francois Marquette, Montreal +
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British Columbia/Colombie-Britannique

Bruce Hallsor, Victoria
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The Territories/Les territoires

Rhys Watson, Whitehorse, Yukon +
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Canadian Studying in the UK/Étudiant Canadien en Angleterre

Neil MacAlasdair
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from Canada: 416.922.6686
from UK: 011.4477.6130.7072