Harry and Meghan just declared themselves free agents, and it’s with great pride that I see who wants to draft them.
Kristen Adamo, head of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, has released a letter inviting them to move here instead of their choice of Canada.
I like her style.
“Dear Harry & Meghan,” Kristen began. “We hope you don’t mind if we call you by your first names. It’s just very hard for Americans to remember who is Count of this or Duchess of that.”
It’s especially so in this state, where no one even uses the word “Governor” — it’s Gina, Linc or Bruce.
Maybe that’s one reason our forebears broke free from King George III. Ms. Adamo alluded to those times in her letter.
“You’re not the only ones to get on the bad side of the British crown,” she said. “In 1772, we set fire to the HMS Gaspee … in protest over taxes. That’s way worse than quitting your job without giving the Queen two weeks’ notice.”
It’s worth passing on that in May of 1776, Rhode Island was the first colony to renounce the crown, months before the Declaration of Independence.
So we get it.
We may well be the most accepting state.
The two royals are leaving because they feel vilified, especially Meghan, labeled divorced, middle-class, biracial and — shocker — American.
It seems neither Britain nor the royal family can handle “different.”
Rhode Island, by contrast, was founded on different — by a rebel preacher named Roger Williams who was so vilified in Massachusetts he left in 1636.
He established Rhode Island as a refuge for those unwelcome elsewhere. He no doubt had folks like Harry and Meghan in mind, who are seen as quirky, recalcitrant and rebellious.
That makes them a perfect fit in Providence, once described by local horror writer H.P. Lovecraft as “That universal haven of the odd, the free, and the dissenting.”
They may feel at home here for other reasons.
For one, we have as many quirky words as England.
Over there, fries are called chips, gas is petrol, sweaters are jumpers, a kiss is a snog and if you’re tired you’re knackered.
Rhode Island has plenty like that — a milk shake’s a cabinet, a sandwich a grinder, a fountain a bubbler, clams are steamers and sprinkles are jimmies.
We’re also in sync in our yearning for the past. Just as Brits long for the empire’s heyday when they owned India, Kenya, Pakistan and Egypt, we still miss Benny’s, Almacs, the Outlet and Ann & Hope.
I remember reading the English love personalized license plates, so I was going to brag that Rhode Island license plate 7 once sold for $25,000. Then I saw that some Brit plates have gone for half a million dollars.
But we get that, too.
If Harry and Meghan ever get homesick for palaces, Newport has the best collection of America’s equivalent. We call them “cottages,” and one, The Breakers, is 125,000 square feet.
Though I just looked up that Buckingham Palace, where the queen lives, is over 800,000.
So the Breakers would feel cozy.
Kristen Adamo is right when she says the two would feel at home here given our arts, and culture.
And I might add, pasta.
No need to jet to Rome when you can drive five minutes to Federal Hill.
Plus, we have more Dunkin’ Donuts per square mile than anywhere, and they serve tea.
They haven’t even renounced the crown.