Whether or not the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ever honeymoon in Jasper, Alta., a town councillor says word of the possibility was good news for the mountain-resort community.
The speculation began on Monday with a report on the Hollywood gossip site TMZ, which said Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, were planning to stay in a luxurious six-bedroom cabin at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. The hotel quickly issued a statement refuting the report.
Regardless of whether the royal couple ends up making the trip, Councillor Rico Damota recalled the old saying that any publicity is good publicity.
“That would apply here,” said Mr. Damota, who himself got married on a pier on Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park and then spent his honeymoon in the community.
“If they’re contemplating a visit, I say, ‘Please come. You won’t be disappointed,’” he said.
Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle, who starred in the TV series Suits, were married on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after a courtship largely spent in Toronto where the series is shot.
The TMZ report described the resort as “a Canadian paradise − tucked away in the middle of Jasper National Park − and has a rich history of royal guest ... from both England and Hollywood.”
However, a spokesperson for the park lodge shot down the possibility.
“Though Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has a long-standing history of serving as a royal retreat, we can confirm that the couple is not currently booked for a stay,” Angela Moore, regional director of public relations for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Canada’s Western Mountain Region, said in a statement.
“We are declining further comment at this time as our top priority is always the safety and privacy of all our guests.”
Katie Heywood, acting communications officer in the household office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, did not respond to a e-mail on Monday seeking comment on the report.
There have been past royal connections with the resort. In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were guests there at the Outlook Cabin that subsequently burned down. In 2005, the Queen and Prince Philip stayed in the rebuilt cabin during a visit to Alberta to celebrate the province’s 100th anniversary.
Mr. Damota declined to comment on a headline from Page Six, the gossip-column feature of The New York Post newspaper, which described Jasper as “the world’s most boring place.”
He said Jasper has been popular with celebrities because it offers nature with modern conveniences, as well as privacy.
“Sometimes when we find out [celebrities] are visiting, they’re already gone,” he said.
The royal couple have not yet revealed their honeymoon plans.
University of Victoria history professor Mariel Grant, who has a particular interest in British history, said on Monday that a royal honeymoon in Canada would be a first in the family history.
The fact that the possibility of an Alberta sojourn has leaked probably means the Western province has been struck off the list of honeymoon-location options, she said.
Sarika Bose, a professor of Victorian literature at the University of British Columbia, who has taken an interest in royal matters, said a honeymoon in Canada, whether in Alberta or elsewhere, would deepen the connections that this couple, as well as the Royal Family, in general, have to Canada.
But she added, “The Canadian honeymoon might be a bit of wishful thinking.”