Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the royal baby Archie are celebrating Christmas in Greater Victoria.
Bev Koffel, who owns the Deep Cove Chalet with her husband chef Pierre Koffel, said she has seen the royal couple and met with their security guards at the elegant waterfront restaurant in North Saanich.
Prince Harry has also been seen several times hiking Horth Hill, said Koffel.
“Horth Hill’s become a very popular place now. And they jog around, so they’ve been seen,” said Koffel. “It’s kind of exciting. I hope everything goes fine for them. They’re breaking away from tradition and I just wish them all the best.”
Last weekend, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and baby Archie would spend the festive season in Canada.
Though the Buckingham Palace did not specify in its statement where the royal couple will be visiting during their time in Canada, it did say that Harry and Meghan’s decision to base themselves in the country “reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both.”
“The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family,” the statement continued. “They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.”
On Dec. 20, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the royal family on Twitter.
“Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie, we’re all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada. You’re among friends, and always welcome here.”
Koffel said security guards came down and talked to her last week.
“They said ‘How did you figure out who we were?’ And I said ‘It wasn’t too hard.’”
Now Koffel is keeping close to the phone because her husband Pierre was the one who answered when the royals wanted to make a reservation. He turned them down because of the security required.
“Anyhow, you know what Pierre’s like. We’ll see what happens,” she laughed, adding that she wants them to enjoy their time here.
“Let them have their peace and quiet. For us to be so lucky to have them in the area, how lucky is that?” said Koffel. “I wish them all the privacy they can possibly get. They deserve it.”
Koffel said she bought two books for Harry and Meghan during the summer and planned to send them to them. She bought Paseka: A Little Elephant, Brave by Ruth James because of their love for Africa. She also bought them a copy of Neekah’s Knitting Needle, illustrated by her neighbour Sheena Lott.
“I hope to meet them one day. I hope they get my books.”
Just sharing the sweetest Christmas Card from our President and Vice-President, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Very Merry Christmas, everyone! pic.twitter.com/McOcHALoGl— The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (@queenscomtrust) December 23, 2019
Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie, we’re all wishing you a quiet and blessed stay in Canada. You’re among friends, and always welcome here.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 21, 2019