With Queen Elizabeth's Death, Republicans Spot Their Chance


LONDON (Reuters) – During Queen Elizabeth’s 70-Year Reign, Republican Rumblings Surfaced On Occasion, But The Affection And Respect She Enjoyed Meant That The Movement To Do Away With The Monarchy Struggled To Make A Lasting Impression.
Now, With Her Death And The Accession Of Her Less Popular Son Charles, Republicans Believe That The End Of The 1,000-Year-Old Institution Could Be A Step Closer.
“The Queen Is The Monarchy For Most People. After She Dies The Future Of The Institution Is In Serious Jeopardy,” Graham Smith, Chief Executive Of Campaign Group Republic, Said Earlier This Year.
“Charles May Inherit The Throne, But He Won’t Inherit The Deference And Respect Afforded The Queen.”
Smith And Like-Minded Anti-Monarchists Argue That The Royal Family Has No Place In A Modern Democracy, And Is Staggeringly Expensive To Maintain.
Royal Officials Say The Institution Costs Each Briton Less Than 1 Pound ($1.15) Annually, But The Republic Says Its True Cost To The Nation Each Year Is About 350 Million Pounds.
The Overall Wealth Of The Family Is Also Hard To Gauge Due To The Opaque Nature Of Its Finances And What It Directly Owns. A Reuters Analysis In 2015 Suggested It Had Nominal Assets Worth Almost 23 Billion Pounds At The Time.
Polls Have Consistently Shown That The Vast Majority Of Britons Back The Monarchy, With Support For The Queen Herself Running At Similar Or Higher Levels. Republicans Accepted They Had No Chance Of Changing The System While She Was Alive.
But Surveys Have Also Shown Support Is Slipping, Especially Among Younger Britons, And That Charles Is Less Popular.
Backing For The 73-Year-Old Taking The Throne Has Also Fluctuated, With Some Polls Suggesting That Many People Believed The Throne Should Pass To His Eldest Son Prince William Instead.
The New King’s Second Wife Camilla Also Remains A Divisive Figure, Surveys Show, And The Greater Popularity Of William And His Wife Kate Could Help Counter Moves Towards Abolishing The Monarchy In Britain And Abroad.
Britain’s Mass-Market Newspapers Have Largely Embraced The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge, Who Are A Regular Feature On The Front Pages As They Carry Out Royal And Charitable Duties Across The Country.

A Former Senior Royal Aide Tells Reuters Young Royals Are More Media-Savvied Than Older Generations, And A Great Amount Of Planning And Care Is Done To Ensure Their Work And Personalities Stand Out.
In a rapidly changing world, the stability of ancient institutions such as monarchy is also something that many people can hope for.
Aide Says Royal Family Provides “Sort of Ballast” to Nation, Especially in Difficult Times.
But William And Kate Are Not Immune To Criticism, With Recent Trips To The Caribbean Overshadowed By Outcry Against Britain’s Royal Past.
In the last few years, Republic has increased its campaign on social media and with billboards.
Smith And Other Republicans Have Long Argued That When The British People Face The Reality Of Charles As King Then Support For The Monarchy As A Whole Will Decline.
He Has Said That After The Queen’s Funeral And Before The Coronation, He And Other Activists Will Call For A Referendum On The Future Of The Institution.
“It Is An Opportunity To Campaign, But It Will Not Be An Easy Campaign,” he said. “We Have to Work Hard to Get That Referendum.”
There Is No Clear Path To Abolish The Monarchy In Britain, Which Has No Written Constitution Outlining Its Steps. His Opponents Argue If Public Opinion Turns Against Him, The Royal Family Can’t Continue.
The Only Time The Royal Line Was Interrupted Was In 1649 When King Charles I Was Tried For High Treason, Found Guilty, And Executed, Opening The Short Period Of The English Republic.
It Ended In 1660 With The Restoration Of The Monarchy, Presaging The Establishment Of Institutions With Much Diminished Powers Than What Before.

Not Only In Britain The Status Of The Monarchy Can Be Threatened. Although Most of the British Empire Disappeared During Elizabeth’s Reign, Charles Remained Head of State for 14 Other Realms Including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Popularity And Admiration Of The Queen Often Keeps Republicanism Afloat, But The Issue Is Now Likely To Reignite With Renewed Energy.
Barbados’ decision to reject the Queen as head of state in November 2021 is seen as a boost for the Republican Party, and other realms such as Jamaica and Belize have indicated they want to follow suit, with royals saying they won’t stand their way.
“I Want To State Clearly, As I Have Said Before, That The Constitutional Arrangement Of Each Member, As A Republic Or A Monarchy, Is A Matter For Each Member State To Decide,” Charles said at the Commonwealth Summit in June This Year.
“The Benefits of Longevity Brought Me Experience That Arrangements Like This Can Change, Calmly and Without Resentment.”
In Australia, 55 Percent of Voters Backed Keeping the Monarchy in a Referendum in 1999, But Recent Polls Have Painted a Conflicting Picture of Where Sentiments Currently Stand.
2020 Poll Suggests 62% Want Australian Head of State, With Charles’ Recruitment Considered Key, While Poll In January 2021 Finds Only 34% Want A Republic.
“I have a lot of respect for the Constitutional Monarchy, and if it’s not broken, I don’t see the need to fix it,” Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Said When Charles’ Second Child Prince Harry And His Wife, Meghan, Visited In 2018.
However, Harry And Meghan’s Decision To Stop Carrying Out Royal Duties In 2020, And Then Criticize Buckingham Palace And Accuse An Unnamed Royal Of Racism, Could Backfire On The Royal.
Australia’s Centre-Left Labor Government Names Country’s First “Assistant Minister for the Republic” When It Takes Power This June.
Australian Republican Movement Https://Www.reuters.com/World/Australian-Republicans-Offer-Condolences-Queen-Call-Debate-2022-09-09/ Condolences On Queen’s Death But Says She Has Supported Australia’s Right To Be A Fully Independent Nation During the 1999 Referendum.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese Has Spoken In Support Of Moving Towards A Republic. But On Friday He Said: “Today Is A Day For One Issue And One Issue Only, Which Is To Pay Tribute To Queen Elizabeth II.”
In Canada, Recent Polls Suggest About Half of Canadians Believe The Country Should End Its Ties With The Monarchy After Elizabeth’s Death.
However, Experts Say Removing Monarchy From Canada’s Constitution Could Prove Difficult, Possibly Blocking Any Closer Movement Toward A Republic.
In New Zealand, Where Voters In 2016 Referendum Refuse To Change Their National Flag To Ditch The Union Jack – Flag Of The United Kingdom – Poll Shows Society Divided, With Young People Leaning Toward The Republic.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Said In March 2018 She Expects New Zealand To Be A Republic In Her Lifetime But It’s Not The Government’s Priority.
Reacting to Queen’s Death On Thursday, Ardern Https://Www.reuters.com/World/Uk/She-Was-Extraordinary-Says-Nz-Pm-Ardern-World-Mourns-Queen-2022-09-09/ Said : “There’s No Doubt That A Chapter Will Be Closed Today…He’s Amazing.”

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