King will be ‘sad but respectful’ if Australia becomes a republic

Royals: Protest in Milton Keynes ahead of visit of King Charles

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King Charles would be “sad” yet “respectful” of the decision of the Australian people if the country were to vote to become a republic, an expert has told The anti-monarchy movement in the country has gathered pace over the past year, particularly with the election of Anthony Albanese as Prime Minister and the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Associate Professor Cindy McCreery, a cultural historian with an interest in modern monarchy and colonialism, told that while the monarch would be “sad and disappointed” to see Australia become a republic, he would not attempt to influence the decision in any way.

She said: “If you look at the track record of the Queen, and indeed the British Royal Family during decolonisation, you can see that they actually has been, I think, by and large very respectful and very clear that it is absolutely the will of the individual people in that country.

“That is important. And I think that absolutely Charles will continue that line.”

She acknowledged that Her Majesty would have been sorry to lose Australia but would never have interfered in the country’s political process.

When asked what a republic in Australia would mean for Britain, Professor McCreery said: “I think there’s a particular fascination with Australia in the British region.

“I think there is a sense that if Australia were to leave [the monarchy] that would give people in Britain pause for thought and I think there might be some sadness, for some people.

“For others they might think, ‘oh gosh, if Australia is no longer in maybe it’s time we in Britain actually thought more seriously about it’.

“I don’t want to suggest that Australia becoming a republic would mean that Britain would, but I do think it would give the people pause for thought in a way that smaller Caribbean nations don’t.”

In 2021 the island nation Barbados announced it would become a republic but remain within the Commonwealth, an organisation whose legacy the Queen was passionate about protecting.

If Australia did become a republic it is likely it would also stay a Commonwealth member, according to Professor McCreery.

She said: “The vast majority of members of the Commonwealth are in fact republics and I think it’s highly likely that were Australia to become a republic, they would decice to stay in the Commonwealth.

“I think that King Charles would be actually pushing that and rather than trying to hang onto Australia as a realm, he would stress his wish that Australia remain in the Commonwealth.”

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Since the election of Anthony Albanese last May his Labor government have made clear their desire to abolish the country’s constitutional monarchy.

However Mr Albanese has said he would not call a referendum during his frst three-year term in office.

This means his government would have to be elected for a second term for the question of a referendum to even be considered.

Australia last held a referendum on republicanism in 1999, which saw support for keeping the monarchy win out with 54.9 percent of the vote.

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