The royal self-exilers pondered moving to New Zealand, they’ve told Oprah Winfrey. We say: welcome, Hazzer and Megs.
Over recent years reasons cited for moving from the UK or US to Aotearoa are many. The election of George W Bush. Brexit. The election of Donald Trump. To that list can now be added: being made to feel like utter shit by the royal family and the tabloid press. In their little-noticed interview with emerging talent Oprah Winfrey in recent hours, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, formerly known as royal highnesses, said that among the places they considered moving after everything went belly up was New Zealand.
Just like Black Francis before them, Harry and Meghan went another way. Which was obviously a colossal error. It’s not too late, H&M. Change your minds. We shouldn’t have any trouble getting you past the Covid gatekeepers. Don’t mention the royal connections, though; put Harry down as a sailor and Meghan as an actor.
Do it for your children. Do it for the kindness that flows from every kitchen tap. Do it for Max, who’s been standing there waiting since May 2015.
Covid-free-ish New Zealand
Apart from when there’s Covid, there’s no Covid! Bring plenty to do for your fortnight in the Sudima. Once that’s over, you’re in paradise. Most of the country, as of now, is in the “royal we” status: Alert Level One.
Where to live
You’ve been around the country a bit before, and while it might smell like fresh paint to Harry, Meghan was here before she was posh. Her first trip to New Zealand, in 2014, was as some random, ordinary, really wealthy person, long before she hooked up with Harry and set about being really mean to the guileless, gentle and pure royal family.
Dunedin is a lot like Scotland and has fancy old things that if you squint look quite royal. There are former Green MPs there who might lend you their castles and islands.
Barrytown Rhymes with Harrytown.
Invercargill Rhymes with Meghan Markle. Beloved of fellow royal Mick Jagger.
Queenstown Lovely but the name might be an issue.
New Windsor, Auckland Sorry.
How to make friends
The country is teeming with excellent relocated Brits and Americans. All we ask, Harry, is that you adopt the official dress for all UK visitors: a Bunnings hat and not much else. You’ll be greeted with open arms at KFCs and service stations around the country.
As for you, Meghan, you’ll find all Americans are greeted with a warm round of applause in most cafes, but the man you really need to see, who I assure you is an American despite having become the biggest Kiwi bloke since Fred Dagg, a cheese roll with limbs, is of course Peter Thiel. The Trump-boosting Pay Pal founder loves New Zealand, he calls it utopia, and has spent at least several minutes in the country since securing his citizenship at that great Aotearoa landmark: the Santa Monica consulate.
Where to do media
The couple told Oprah Winfrey that New Zealand was a place they’d considered moving to escape press intrusion, but one can’t simply cold turkey on the media spotlight. With that in mind, morning-time on Newstalk ZB is the place to go for a bit of banter. There’s a prime slot opened up with Mike Hosking, aka The New Zealand Oprah, on Monday mornings. And, earlier in the day, Kate Hawkesby has a very eager and not at all weird interest in your lives.
Posh things to do
Aotearoa is often misunderstood as a modest land but if one asks around one can get hold fairly easily of Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands and tigers on a gold leash.
Other things to do
There are a lot of things to do. But reviewing the royalists’ paper of record, it seems like you knew that already.
Good news: we have more shells.
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