Royal exodus: Australia may have referendum on monarchy when Prince Charles is King

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The Queen, 93, has broken many records during her long reign as monarch. In 2017, she became the world’s oldest head of state after the resignation of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, who served as his country’s president for 37 years. In October 2016, she notched up another record, becoming the world’s longest-reigning living monarch after the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej following his 70 years on the throne.

She has been described by historians as “the most politically accomplished person in the world” and she is also the most loved and popular member of the Royal Family.

In the annual YouGov poll, participants described Her Majesty as “admirable, hard-working, respected, and dedicated”— earning her an impressive 72 percent positivity rating.

Despite the Queen’s popularity, around the world, there are still people who feel strongly about the monarchy being abolished.

Recently, Barbados has declared its independence from the monarchy and became a republic, and will remove the Queen as its head of state by 2021.

Moreover, anti-monarchist sentiment is likely to grow once the monarch passes and her son, Prince Charles becomes King.

A US embassy official and Amitav Banerji, Commonwealth Secretariat director of political affairs, recently discussed their fears for the Commonwealth under Charles.

Mr Banerji told the official Charles “does not command the same respect as the Queen”.

This sentiment was echoed by Australian Liberal Party Senator Eric Abetz, who told, Australia could have a referendum on whether to abolish the monarchy after Her Majesty leaves the throne.

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He said: “I think our constitutional monarchy works exceptionally well.

“Is there a need for change? No, there is not.

“When you want change, you need to ask yourself ‘what would you change it to? What is the deficit that you are trying to overcome with the change?’

“Most people say if we are going to have a head state that person should then be a democratically elected person.

“And in Australia, like in the UK, that would mean that the President would either be Liberal or Labour, Conservative or Labour.

“In Australia, part of the role of the Governor-General representing the Queen is to be the constitutional umpire.

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“In any match, political or sporting, you don’t want the umpire to be running onto the field with a callous of one of the teams.

“When people might instinctively say ‘yes, we’d like to be completely cut loose from the UK’ but then you ask then how they would do it, people immediately swing back to the monarchy.”

Mr Abetz added: “I think the picture Buckingham Palace has put out in recent times of Her Majesty, Princes Charles William and George provides continuity and certainty.

“Prince Charles might not be Australia’s favourite, but at the end of the day, people see the four generations there.

“It is an institution that has served us well.”

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