MOSCOW (UrduPoint News/Sputnik – September 13, 2022) Queen Elizabeth’s death has reignited the Republican debate in Britain’s overseas territories, but Canada and, to a lesser extent, Australia and New Zealand are likely to resist calls to cut ties with the monarchy for now, a Tory member of the House of Lords told Sputnik.
Days after Queen Elizabeth passed away on Thursday, Antigua and Barbuda announced plans to vote on whether to depose King Charles III as head of state. The British sovereign is the titular head of state of Britain’s 14 former colonies, but has no say in local politics.
Antigua and Barbuda’s announcement comes just months after neighboring Jamaica said it wanted to move away from a constitutional monarchy by 2025 and less than a year after Barbados withdrew. separated from the crown in a historic move that ended the British monarchy’s 29 years of unchallenging. in its former territories. The previous nation to break away was Mauritius in 1992.
The Queen’s personal popularity was widely seen as the glue that held together the Commonwealth of 56 mostly former British colonies and the accession of King Charles III gave new impetus to the republican movement.
Richard Balfe, a member of the upper house of the British parliament, told Sputnik that a number of Caribbean islands are likely to become republics, but in the case of Australia and New Zealand and in particular of Canada, it could be “in a while”.
“In many ways having the monarch as titular leader supported by a local governor-general keeps the head of state out of politics, which is very helpful… The South Pacific islands will likely remain with the king as leader of the state because an alternative is generally not considered satisfactory,” explained Balfe.
“In the case of Canada, a former Minister of Finance told me years ago that Canada would be the last place to become a republic, because it gave Canadians a separate identity from the United States and gave them, c ie in the United States, something to be jealous about,” he added.
In the UK there is very little support for the abolition of the monarchy. About 14% of Britons polled said they wanted to keep the monarch as head of state, and no one in the House of Lords gave Republican speeches during official mourning ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, Balfe said.
There is also no indication of the possibility of King Charles III stepping down for Prince William, his eldest son and heir to the throne. Balfe said that William had practiced for several years and would make a good king, but that Charles could only abdicate if he fell seriously ill.