Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah reinforced his argument for breaking Australia’s constitutional ties with the British monarchy. This could rekindle the debate about Republicanism in Australia, one of the 54 Commonwealth countries that were once part of the British Empire.
- Malcolm Turnbull has Announced To Australian Radio ABC, it was clear from the interview that members of the royal family were unhappy or “at least Meghan and Harry were unhappy.”
- The former prime minister, a staunch Republican, then called on Australia to end its ties with the British monarchy after Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends.
- Malcolm Turnbull’s successor and current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not yet been asked about the interview or commented on it.
- The hashtag #abolishthemonarchy made the rounds on Twitter on Monday after Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah, where the couple opened up about their difficulties with the royal family.
“Do we really want the head of state of the United Kingdom to automatically be our head of State? “, Malcolm Turnbull said in his interview.
Currently, the king of the United Kingdom is recognized as head of state in Australia and several Commonwealth countries that were former British colonies. While the Queen enjoys some popularity with Australians, the country is also home to a growing republican movement in which Mr Turnbull is a leading advocate. Republicans have called for an American-style system in which the head of state is directly elected by Australian citizens. A referendum on making Australia a republic was rejected in 1999, although this was favoured by opinion polls. However, the 1999 referendum, instead of a president with executive powers, was proposed only to replace the British monarch with another figure with limited powers.
Responding to questions about Monday’s press conference, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked about reevaluating relations with the British monarchy. He told reporters he did not”feel an appetite on the part of New Zealanders for a significant change in our constitutional arrangements and I do not expect that to change quickly”. Like its Trans-Tasmanian neighbor, New Zealand’s head of state is the British monarch.
Whether other Commonwealth countries will make similar calls remains to be seen. The group of 54 nations has been at the centre of the monarchy’s concerns during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as for Harry and Meghan’s work as members of the royal family, after their retreat, Meghan has attached flowers of all her countries to her wedding veil. Hours before airing their interview with Oprah, The Queen marked Commonwealth Day with a speech celebrating her solidarity:”we all appreciate the support, breadth of experience and knowledge that work together and hope to maintain this renewed sense of intimacy and community”.
Article translated Forbes U. S. – Author: Siladitya Ray
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