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The Sussexes

Loophole means the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could become King and Queen of Canada

There is nothing that prevents the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from becoming the King and Queen of Canada, thanks to a loophole in the law. This has been reported in various Canadian newspapers the last few days. According to Canadian law, the Canadian constitution says the North American nation needs to be a monarchy, but it does not specify who the monarch must be. Therefore, theoretically, the Canadians, when they wish, can swap out Queen Elizabeth II, or a future King Charles, with any royal they might wish.

The discovery of this particular loophole in Canadian law was discovered first by professor Philippe Lagasse back in 2017. He then stated: “According to the federal government’s interpretation of royal succession in Canada, we could arguably make Harry the King of Canada with a simple parliamentary statute”. The Canadian newspapers National Post suggests, therefore, that Canada should establish its own monarchy with the new Duke of Sussex and his American Duchess as monarch and consort of Canada.

Could this be His Majesty King Henry I and Her Majesty Queen Meghan of Canada? Photo: Alexi Lubomirski/ PA handout

Canada had an earlier law that said that the Canadian monarch had to be a descendant of Queen Victoria, or even that the ruler of Canada has to be the same person as the monarch of the U.K. This law was removed back in 1893.

Canada has, as almost every monarchy, a republican organisation who wants to abolish the monarchy. The debate in Canada is at this point low, and a process of turning Canada into a republic is long and complicated. Under section 41 of the Canadian Constitution, changing anything about the “office of the Queen” requires the unanimous consent of all ten provinces. Something that is highly improbable ever to happen. However, according to the National Post, Harry and Meghan could become King and Queen possibly in less than a month if the Canadian Parliament so wishes.

Rideau Hall would become Canada’s royal palace if the nation became an independent monarchy. Photo: Thomas1313 via Wikimedia Commons.

It is not believed federal government lawyers would agree with the statement that Prince Harry could become King. This is due to the fact that in a 2003 Ontario Superior Court case, federal lawyers successfully argued that while it’s not explicitly written down, Canadian law is deeply encoded with the notion that the King or Queen of Canada has to be the same one as in the U.K. Most notably, it is still the written law in Canada that the country is “federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.”

Making Harry to His Majesty King Henry of Canada, would, of course, require the Duke of Sussex’s consent. This is unlikely to happen that this would mean that Harry needed to betray his own family to become king himself. However, if Harry would agree to become King of Canada, how would that be practical? Harry and Meghan would likely make Rideau Hall in Ottawa (the Canadian capital) the new royal palace of Canada and their primary residence. The office of the Governor General would cease to exist, as well.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.