Can Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say no to free coffee for life?
Shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced on Wednesday that they’d be stepping back from their senior royal roles and splitting their time between North America and the U.K., Tim Hortons decided to jump in with an offer it hopes will sway the couple to come to Canada.
“No pressure, Meghan and Harry, but if you do choose to move to Canada, free coffee for life. Think about it,” the restaurant wrote on its official Twitter account.
Though the gesture appears to be a sign of Canadian generosity, social media users are not having any of it. People have been calling out the popular café chain on Twitter over its employment practices, among other things. The vast majority of tweets are negative, and despite its almost 2,000 retweets, barely anybody seems to be pleased with the chain’s offer.
“Pay your employees a living wage,” writer Kait Kucy tweeted in response, while another person commented: “Tim Hortons can afford to give free coffee to royalty but a ten cent raise for workers is too much?”
“How about letting the homeless get warm?” one person wrote, along with a photo taken of a sign at an Ottawa location describing trespassing laws. “I will never buy anything from Tim Hortons again ever, due to this sign.”
Another echoed the comments regarding the company’s wages, commenting: “Wow, talk about tone-deaf. Sort out paying your workers a living wage before you start giving freebies to the rich. ”
Global News reached out to Tim Hortons for comment but didn’t hear back by the time of publication.
Free coffee likely isn’t the first thing on Harry and Meghan’s minds right now, given the perceived tension between the couple and the rest of the Royal Family.
Less than an hour after their Wednesday announcement, Buckingham Palace came back with a statement of its own, describing the situation as “complicated.”
“Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” reads the statement, shared by royal reporter Omid Scobie on Twitter. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared the news on Instagram, writing: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.”
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen,” they wrote. “It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”
READ MORE: Prince Harry, baby Archie appear in family’s 1st candid Christmas photo from Canada
The announcement follows Harry and Meghan’s visit to Canada House on Jan. 7. They were there to thank High Commissioner Janice Charette and staff for their hospitality during their recent stay in Canada.
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