This past May—you guessed it—I accidentally met Prince Harry.
I was walking to school to clean out my locker, which for some reason was the only day I was able to do so. I could see some people gathering at Queen’s Park (the Ontario legislature- see the picture above) but brushed it off as one of the many protests that regularly occur there. After talking to a couple of the admin ladies, I was told that Prince Harry was on his way to meet with some officials in order to promote the Invictus Games (note: the Games are basically the Olympics for retired and previously injured military personnel, and will be taking place in Toronto next summer).
Naturally, I had to see if I could get a glimpse of my future husband. As many of my friends and family know, I often seem to find myself in circumstances in which I see famous people. I have no idea why this happens to me, but I am definitely not complaining about it.
As I readied myself for what I was hoping would be a short stakeout, I did one of my favourite things: people-watched. Someone had brought their baby in hopes of getting it blessed with the prince’s lips. Women of all ages were hoping HRH would fall in love with them at first sight. The majority of people were (unsurprisingly) hardcore royalists. As excited as I was about seeing Prince Harry, I am not necessarily a royalist. Fully realizing this in such a setting made me question why I was therefore so excited to see Prince Harry.
Canada has the United Kingdom to thank for many of the things we might assume are inherently ‘Canadian’: our court system and governmental system, to name a couple of examples. Traditions that have been passed down for centuries from our English friends across the pond have no doubt influenced Canada in ways we probably can’t even fully realize. Personally, I can’t help but question how necessary the English monarchy are for Canada’s future (aside from my future marriage to Prince Harry). While they are not government decision-makers, the monarchy does continue to be incredibly and significantly symbolic. I didn’t understand the extent of how important the monarchy continues to be as figureheads until I was waiting for Prince Harry to arrive: and let me tell you, royalists would probably give up their firstborn child to catch a glimpse of a royal.
Continuing to ponder Canadian identity, I had to think of my move to Toronto last year. After driving across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and being fortunate enough to visit Quebec last summer, I felt much stronger in my identity as a Canadian. Prior to this adventure, I felt much stronger in my Albertan identity as opposed to my Canadian identity.
Canada is a large country with a diverse population, which is one of the most beautiful things about Canada. However, the vastness of Canada also means that it is often cheaper to travel abroad rather than travel to a different part of Canada, which is quite unfortunate. I think it makes sense that we identify more intimately with the geographical location where we spend most of our time, but after this past year, I’m of the opinion that Canadians—myself included—need to start investing more time into our Canadian identities as both individuals and united citizens.
Long story short, I realized that I was excited to see Prince Harry because I am a major history nerd. I may or may not be slightly obsessed with medieval English history. However, this obsession doesn’t stem from some sort of romantic notion of a prince sweeping a princess off her feet. Being the criminology geek that I am, I love this period of history because of the political deviance: the brutal and regularly bloody political deviance of the monarchy (and other nobles) that used every tool they had to maintain and gain power.
To summarize: I was excited to see Prince Harry because to me, he is a direct connection to the centuries of intricate medieval politics that I so love. And another reason for my excitement might be that I find him attractive.
I ended up getting an amazing selfie with Prince Harry; he came right up to me (which doesn’t always happen with public figures, in my experience) and it resulted in one of my favourite pictures ever. He was incredibly sweet, and joked around a bit with me. A British newspaper then interviewed me on my experience meeting HRH, since he did take the time to talk to me. I haven’t been able to find the article yet, unfortunately. However, the journalist took my information, so I rest easy knowing that Prince Harry has the ability to find me once he realizes I am his dream girl.
P.S. I apologize for how long it’s been since my last post; my parents’ visit coupled with starting a new job has resulted in a tad bit of craziness. Now that I’m in the swing of things, I plan to continue with weekly blog installments! Meanwhile, I’ll be over here questioning my life decisions over a cup of tea.