Prince Charles wants Australia to become a republic, according to Paul Keating.
The Prince of Wales is set to visit Australia for the Commonwealth Games this month. Just days before his visit, Keating claimed that the next-in-line to the throne wanted the Oz to be independent of the British monarchy.
“I have no doubt he believes Australia should be free of the British monarchy and that it should make its own way in the world,” Keating said (via The Australian). “Why would he or any one of his family want to visit Australia pretending to be, or representing its aspirations as, its head of state?”
“But none of that is to diminish the commitment and sense of duty that Prince Charles displays towards Great Britain and, as constitutional arrangements stand, towards Australia. He is a great friend of Australia — there is no doubt about that,” Keating added.
Some didn’t like Keating’s statement. “Prince Charles would just want to do his duty and he shouldn’t be verballed by an ex-PM,” Tony Abbot wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, according to Troy Bramston, a senior writer and columnist, Clarence House has already released a statement about Keating’s claim. “Her Majesty The Queen and The Prince of Wales have always made it clear that they believe the future of the Monarchy in Australia is a matter for the Australian people to decide,” he wrote.
In December, the Australian Republic Movement wrote a letter to the Duke of Cornwall and invited Prince Charles to give a speech about the future of the monarchy in the country. However, the Prince of Wales reportedly rejected the invitation.
“They apologize for the slow reply and they say the queen and the Prince of Wales have always made it clear that they believe that the future of the monarchy in Australia is for the Australian people to decide,” said Michael Cooney, the movement’s national director.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will be in Australia this month for the opening of Commonwealth Games. The event will begin with the Prince of Wales reading the queen’s “secret message in a bottle.” The royal will have to remove it from a baton that has toured the former British Empire nations that make up the Commonwealth.
“It all goes back to her speech to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday in Cape Town in 1947 and dedicating her life to the Commonwealth,” CEO David Grevemberg explained. “The Commonwealth is about selfless leadership and no one is perhaps a better exponent of that than the Queen.”