Thursday, November 12, 2015

Expat Observations: Monarchy vs Republic

Photo by AAP: Mick Tsikas
The future King of England is visiting some of his countries in the South Pacific at the moment. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were in Canberra yesterday for a Remembrance Day service as part of their visit to Australia. Prince Charles also met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Government House, which was probably a bit awkward as Turnbull was chairman of the Australian Republican Movement from 1993-2000.

Currently Australia is a constitutional monarchy, with the Queen of England as its head of state. The Queen is represented here by the Governor-General. In 1999 a republican referendum was held but neither of the amendments passed. While there does seem to be support for Australia to become a republic, the form it will take seems to be a stumbling block. Most leaders have also stated they won't pursue the issue until Queen Elizabeth's reign ends.

I am sure that Australians will ditch the monarchy at some point, but the question is when? Tony Abbott probably did the most to help the republican cause when he awarded a knighthood to Prince Philip on Australia Day (thankfully Turnbull got rid of knights and dames from the Order of Australia honours soon after he became Prime Minister). However, if it is Prince William who becomes King instead of his father, the monarchy may be safe for quite some time.

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