The potential immigration problems of the rich and famous – more specifically of the duke and duchess of Sussex – got big-league media attention on Wednesday when both the New York Times and the Washington Post walked through the migration alternatives available to Prince Harry and Meghan as they contemplate moving to Canada.
Apparently they cannot under current rules simply move from one part of the old British Empire to another; they have to secure visas just like any other would-be Canadian, which is news in its own right.
One of the possibilities explored by the Post is that Prince Harry (now sixth in line for the throne) might become (in effect) a chain migrant, in the wake of his wife Meghan, who spent seven years (legally apparently) as a resident of Toronto while making a TV series there.
That would be a wonderful irony — a British royal securing an immigration benefit not because of his family, but because he had married an American who was also a one-time resident of Canada. A chain migrant with a dukedom, but getting his visa only because he was married to a specific woman! The world turned upside down!
Alternatively, could the prince get a Canadian visa based on a job, when he has none?
My proposed solution to all of this — somehow ignored by the press — is that young Harry should follow in the footsteps of his great-great uncle, the late Prince Henry, duke of Gloucester.
Prince Henry was the third son of the late George V, and thus younger brother to the late George VI, the king at the time. Prince Henry served as governor-general of Australia from 1945 to 1947, presumably without any immigration worries.
So why not an appointment to either the governor-generalship of Canada (a job now filled by Julie Payette) or to one of the lieutenant governorships, there being one for each of the 10 provinces. There is both non-demanding employment and existing housing in each of the 11 places, and probably a Rolls Royce goes with the job in Ottawa. Getting a visa would then be easy (though some laws or precedents about appointing Canadians to these jobs might have to be manipulated).
I bet, however, that neither the dashing prince nor his glamorous wife would be happy very long in such out-of-the-way places as wind-swept St. John (capital of Newfoundland) or tiny Charlottetown (capital of Prince Edward Island, with the town's population being less than 37,000.) But there is a lieutenant governorship in both of those locations.
My suspicion is that the visa problems of Harry and Meghan will be solved quickly and quietly, just as the Bushes found a way to create a visa for the then-girlfriend of one Donald Trump. She turned out to be (probably) the first fashion model to be admitted as part of the "Einstein class" in the migration system, as a "priority worker".
To quote the Sydney Morning Herald:
In March 2001, she was granted a green card in the elite EB-1 program, which was designed for renowned academic researchers, multinational business executives or those in other fields, such as Olympic athletes and Oscar-winning actors, who demonstrated "sustained national and international acclaim".
EB-1 stands for the first of the five classes of employment-based immigrants.
Given Melania's arrangement, do not spend too much time worrying about Harry and Meghan's immigration problems.
Besides, they always could live in the States, but only if Meghan signed the papers.
The prince could be admitted, without regard to any numerical ceilings, as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen.