The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Canada House on Tuesday to thank the High Commissioner following their six-week break spent in the country, and to view indigenous artwork and meet with staff.
“What a wonderful place you live in,” Harry told the staff at Canada House about their country.Embed from Getty Images
He asked the gathered staff members, who’d assembled on the stairs inside Canada House, if any were from British Columbia, the western province where the couple had spent their break.
“Thank you so much for having us – not that any of you had anything much to do with it,” he joked, to much laughter.
He continued that “the warmth and hospitality that we were shown while there was unbelievable, and that’s exactly why we chose to go out there. So, thank you.”
Meghan added, “I want to say Happy New Year and thank you, and as my husband said, my goodness it was just such an incredible time we were able to have there with our son too.
“And just to be able to take in the warmth that we experienced from the people but also to just walk around and just see the beauty of Canada,” she added. “To see Archie go ‘ahhh’ when you walk by and just see how stunning it is, so it meant a lot to us…”
The couple spent their break in British Columbia, spotted on Vancouver Island, celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve there.
At Canada House, several employees spoke with the Daily Mail about their royal visitors. Jamie Weare said that Harry revealed that they’d enjoyed their trip but that it rained all the time; a consular official named Sumira Osman said that “They were lovely and so gracious. There was a real aura around them.”
The High Commission tweeted after Harry and Meghan’s visit that it was “an honour to welcome TRH the Duke & Duchess of Sussex to #CanadaHouse for their 2nd visit in less than year, providing an opportunity to discuss some of our common priorities & shared values such as climate change & supporting the empowerment of women, girls, & youth!”
Inside, the couple met with the High Commissioner in the aptly-chosen British Columbia Room and snacked on tea and Nanaimo bars (a Canadian dessert from British Columbia).
Harry and Meghan then visited the Canada Gallery to view an art exhibit by indigenous artist Skawenatti, who told CBC, the Canadian Crown broadcasting organisation, that she was “pretty surprised and pretty thrilled” that the royals would be viewing her exhibit.Embed from Getty Images
“What I would like is for them to remember our long relationship,” said Skawennati “Not only have we survived colonization, attempts at assimilation and genocide, but that we are in the process of revitalizing our languages and our culture. We’ve remembered a lot, and I’d like them to think about using their influence to see what role they can play in that revitalization.”
It was also reported that Harry and Meghan had paid a visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen on Tuesday morning prior to their visit to Canada House, as Meghan had wanted to follow up with the women after being away on her break.