Prince Harry and Meghan Markle invited to call Okotoks home

A southern Alberta town is thinking big with a recent invitation sent off by its town council.

Okotoks Town Council passed a decision last week to send a letter to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, asking them to consider calling their community home.

The motion put forward by Mayor Bill Robertson unanimously passed by the six council members in attendance.

What seemed like a ridiculous idea at first, according to Coun. Florence Christophers, soon became a motion with serious potential.

“I thought, ‘I am so not voting for this motion. This is embarrassing. This is not what communities and town councillors should be spending their time debating.’ And by the end, I’m like, ‘I’m totally supporting this motion.’”

Christophers said the motion passed because it could attract all kinds of new people to the community — not just Prince Harry and Markle.

“It’s an invitation to a beautiful royal family to come and join us here in this community we’ve created that’s so ideal for families but it’s more than that; it’s an invitation to any family,” she said.

The town of Okotoks prides itself on being a young, active, environmentally conscious community just 15 minutes south of Calgary.

Consisting of roughly 30,000 people, it has 72 kilometres of walking trails and a private airport.

“It’s just got a good feel to it. It’s not close enough so that everyone knows your business and it’s small enough that you can feel comfortable in your house at night and not have to worry,” said Okotoks resident Jeff Towner.

According to Sarah Ethier, assistant manager at Loop, a second-hand children’s shop, the community is also ideal for new families.

She said Prince Harry and Markle’s nine-month-old son Archie would fit into the community perfectly.

The community has attracted some people from England, including Karen and Peter Scantlebury, who moved to Okotoks 11 years ago from an area south of Birmingham.

They are happy to hear Prince Harry and Markle have been invited to Canada as well.

“I’ve got no objections whatsoever, and if it brings people to the town, that would be great,” Peter said.

However, Christophers is not optimistic that the royal couple will decide to set up roots in the town.

“I think my impression is they’ve found a place on the island and that’s a beautiful spot to land as well,” she said.

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