Okanagan’s own Prince Harry and Megan story makes royal reappearance

Caetani - the Prince who gave it all up to move to Canada with his family

With so much fanfare given to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moving to Canada, another little-known story has gained prominence.

In the 1920s the Caetani family moved to Vernon to escape the rise of fascism in the early 20th century in Italy.

Recognized as a name of great significance in Italy, the Caetani family has a substantial documented political, cultural and social history stretching back to 8th-century Rome.

The Caetani lineage includes two medieval popes, a long line of Italian statesmen, members of the aristocracy and parliament, artists, writers, musicians and several creative individuals.

“We knew that there was a lot of interest in the story locally, however we did not expect such an overwhelming response. We were delighted with the level of interest,” Caetani Centre executive director Susan Brandoli said.

The story of the historic Caetani family moving to Vernon in the early 1920s has recently gained national recognition when it was prominently featured in January on the Sunday Edition on CBC Radio One with Michael Enright.

The full half-hour spotlight, beautifully produced by local journalist Jennifer Chrumka, was billed as Vernon’s own Prince Harry and Megan story: a tale of the Prince who gave it all up to move to Canada with his family.

There are several parallels.

“The recent publication of the book Little Fortress by Vernon’s own award-winning author Laisha Rosnau was the catalyst for the radio show,” Brandoli said.

“The book is ultimately a work of fiction,” she said. “However it is based in fact, and it does stay quite true to the original story and characters. It’s a great read, and well written.”

READ MORE: Vernon author’s new historical novel an exploration of the Caetani family

The publication of the book, along with the radio feature, came together at the right time, and have served to highlight the fact that the Caetani Centre is developing a heritage display in the historic Caetani House on Pleasant Valley Road, which is set to open later this year.

The society has been upgrading the house over the past few years so it can finally be open to the public as a heritage and cultural site — as originally intended in the will of benefactor Sveva Caetani in 1994.

“It has taken us 25 years to get here, but we are excited to see this project finally coming together in all aspects.”

To learn more, the centre is offering a Caetani Travelogue event, which will include a presentation of this fascinating illustrated tour of the Caetani Italian properties on Feb. 16, 2–4 p.m. (doors open at 1:30 p.m.).

All proceeds from the Travelogue will go towards assisting with funding the Caetani Heritage Display set to open summer 2020.

Tickets are $10 each, and are available online at caetani.org or call the Caetani office at 250-275-1525.

“Space is limited so we still suggest booking your ticket ahead of the event,” Brandoli said.

READ MORE: Vernon’s Caetani Centre travelogue sold out


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CultureRoyal family

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New Lake Country fire hall breaks ground

Groundwork is on tap for a new community firehall. Site works are… Continue reading

Adaptive recreational program counts Vernon, Lake Country among stops

Adaptive Adventures is part of Community Recreational Initiatives Society’s program

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

VIDEO: Crews in Summerland film Christmas parade in July

Filming, on July 31, took place during the hottest days of 2020

Two people die in outdoor shower, in Tulameen

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

UPDATE: More personnel at Dry Lake fire, 43 properties remain under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Senior ‘seriously injured’ after Kelowna bus crash

A Ford E350 van collided with a BC Transit Bus on KLO Road on Friday, July 31

Princeton man faces charges after allegedly receiving ‘drunk driving’ lesson

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 1

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

VIDEO: Wildfire erupts north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Observers suspect fireworks sparked blaze, Wildfire BC states cause still unknown

Most Read