Harry and Meghan’s interview shook the royal family and reopened the debate on the monarchy in Australia.
Meghan and Harry’s interview has repercussions right down to the antipodes. In Australia, where republican sentiment is high – according to a recent Ipsos poll, 34% of Australians are for the establishment of a republic – the interview aroused the aspirations of anti-monarchists.
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the Guardian, that it was time for Australians to consider leaving the Commonwealth, the organization that emerged from the British Empire.
If he declares himself a fervent supporter of the Queen, like many Australians, he believes that the question will arise at the end of his reign. “She was a wonderful head of state and I honestly think that in Australia there is more pro-Elizabeth than pro-monarchy.”
“When the end of his reign comes, it will be time for us to say (…) do we really want the King or Queen of the United Kingdom – whoever it is – to automatically happen to be our head of state ? “, he asks himself.
An institution lacking in modernity
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That may not mean the Commonwealth is going to explode. In New Zealand, for example, for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the explosive interview with the couple Harry and Meghan does not change the situation.
“I have already said that I have not felt an appetite on the part of New Zealanders for a significant change in our constitutional provisions and I do not think that is changing very quickly,” she said. .
The interview nevertheless tarnished the image of British royalty, and that of Charles in particular. The interview is the testimony of a clash of generations and values, explains historian Robert Lacey in the columns of the Guardian:
“Do young Australians and Canadians, for example, want a King Charles III who refuses to take calls from his son when he is in emotional distress?”
Without wishing to put the monarchy in doubt, many indeed ask the question of the modernity of the institution – especially as many British subjects counted on Meghan and Harry, young progressive couple, to blow a wind of modernism on royalty. Hope showered by the announcement, a year ago, of their withdrawal from the royal family.
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