Oct. 6, 2017
By Nirosha Sarugaser
Just a couple of short weeks ago Nathan Phillips Square was graced with the royal Prince Harry who was in town for the Invictus Games, with girlfriend, actress and Torontonian (she lives here!) Meghan Markle. The two watched some tennis played by former soldiers in wheelchairs.
The internet, the Twittersphere, the tabloids, and the news sites all went wild, and some of the coverage did mention our fine city, (although the site of our own venerable seat of government, Toronto City Hall, didn’t get much special mention).
So how did our city of Toronto shine in the presses, as Toronto hosted one of the largest Invictus Day Celebrations in history? Let’s see how Toronto really fared on the world stage – with a little help from the game of tennis!
So let’s admit it, the focus of these games was not on our wonderful city, but rather on a budding romance between Prince Harry and his girlfriend, Meghan Markle. The Toronto-based actress scored for the win with a kiss from her Prince, showcasing the LOVE in their relationship.
The UK Sun’s Rachel Dale focused mostly on the relationship between Markle and Harry. Toronto was barely mentioned and only in passing. Granted, The Sun does tend to favour celebrity gossip (I suppose we all do at times), but Toronto’s importance as host of the games and City Hall’s role as the site of the first official opening did not get much attention
Then again, who doesn’t like a little bit of royal gossip? Can we really blame the world for focusing on them instead of us? Well – maybe just a little bit!
The New York Times wasn’t far behind, as it too covered the public appearance of this new couple, but didn’t get into the locations of the city where they went (their first official public appearance was in Nathan Phillips Square!).
Fox News was yet another source that focused more on the gossip of a royal’s new relationship rather than Toronto and the games themselves. They offered a rundown on who Markle, offering tidbits like her family history, ethnic background and a timeline of her relationship with Harry.
Our Dear Toronto once again lost its spotlight to an ace in the political sphere – former U.S. president Barack Obama.
CNN’s Faith Karimi covered the games from an all-American perspective, focusing on their former president and vice president attending the games to support American military veterans. Toronto was only mentioned in passing as the host of the 2017 games, so the coverage of the city itself was limited.
In first place would be a Royal Romance, as described by Lucia Binding in International Business Times. In second place would be Markel’s fashion choices, as explored by The Telegraph‘s Bethan Holt. Third would be the military veterans, as seen in The Toronto Star by Kerry Gillespie.
Vanity Fair did help map a bit of Toronto. Vanity Fair’s Erika Harwood feature story, Kiss from a Prince, brought readers to the Air Canada Centre. Point.
Until next year – Game, Set, Match!
Nirosha Sarugaser is a writer and researcher who has recently relocated to Toronto from Swaziland, Southern Africa. Sarugaser holds a Master’s Degree in Corruption and Governance from the University of Sussex, and a BA from McGill University, and has experience working in the NGO sector for a variety of organizations, including JaRco Consulting, the Clinton Foundation, and Corruption Watch UK. An avid traveller and writer, Sarugaser is always keen to learn more about people, their backgrounds and their way of life.