North Saanich boat captain won’t cash in on royal couple

North Saanich boat captain won't cash in on royal couple
WatchThe furor over the royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan, is not going away. Neither is the media interest with international media outlets flocking to Vancouver Island. But as Mary Griffin reports, one local business owner decided enough was enough.

Catching a Whistler Air flight from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Meghan Markle’s every move on the dock and plane captured by British tabloid photographers from the Daily Mail and The Sun.  In London, the royal couple remains on the front pages as their exit from royal life continues to dominate the news cycle overseas.

But they aren’t getting the same amount of attention in North Saanich.

READ MORE: Island locals determined to keep respectful distance for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

It’s quiet this time of year for Bay-to-Bay Water Taxi, so a recent phone call from an international client piqued owner Miles Arsenault’s interest.

“They said there were three of them on board. And that they would be requiring my boat for a couple of hours in the afternoon,” Arsensault said.

But after a short discussion, Arsenault determined the news crew wanted a waterfront tour of the property rented by the royal couple.

“I met with them here at the marina. And at that point, I was told that this was their plan was to go to the property where the royals were. At that point, I made the decision not to offer my services,” Arsenault said.

After driving up from Seattle, it wasn’t what the journalists wanted to hear. And tough for Arsenault to turn down a charter willing to pay $150 an hour.

“Hard to turn down business, but most importantly I have to live with myself,” Arsenault said.

It’s not hard to find crews looking for any evidence of the royal pair.

Fuji TV reporter Mariko Nakagawa says they came to North Saanich because her viewers are interested.

“People in Japan are interested in Meghan since they got married because they are the first American to get married to the England royals,” Nakagawa said.

It’s not clear how long the royals will stay, but interest in their activities is not going away anytime soon.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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