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King Charles should not delay a Commonwealth tour, writes leading historian ANDREW ROBERTS

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Some have long enjoyed predicting the collapse of the Crown Commonwealth.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, they suggest, makes it certain that almost all countries that retain the British monarch as head of state will become republics.

They point out that Barbados became one last November, even during the reign of the late Queen, and the Jamaican government’s stated intention to become a republic by 2025.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, imagine: [some], makes it certain that almost all countries that retain the British monarch as head of state will become republics. They point out that Barbados became one last November, even during the reign of the late Queen, and declared the Jamaican government’s intention to become a republic by 2025. (Pictured: King Charles on a visit to Barbados in 2021)

They confidently predict that during the reign of King Charles III, Australia and several other empires will also break. But are they right? I’m not so sure.

In fact, I see nothing inevitable in the demise of the Crown Commonwealth, a stronghold of freedom in an increasingly dangerous world.

Republicanism comes and goes. It became a problem in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s, in Australia in the 1990s, and as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Windrush scandal, and the issue of slavery recovery, it is currently a problem in the Caribbean. .

If the Crown Commonwealth nations of the West Indies want to gain independence, that's entirely up to them, but they would do well to try to find a system of government that works better than their limited, constitutional monarchy.  It won't be easy.  (Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge faced criticism during their Jamaica tour in March)

If the Crown Commonwealth nations of the West Indies want to gain independence, that’s entirely up to them, but they would do well to try to find a system of government that works better than their limited, constitutional monarchy. It won’t be easy. (Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge faced criticism during their Jamaica tour in March)

Yet the Barbadian government’s decision was deeply undemocratic, taken only by MPs and not by a popular referendum, despite being such a sweeping constitutional amendment.

The Barbadian head of state was then similarly imposed by parliamentarians without the people being consulted.

Republicans, who are the first to complain that the British monarch hasn’t been elected, tend to be hypocritical when this kind of shameful gerrymandering takes place in emerging republics.

If the Crown Commonwealth nations of the West Indies want to gain independence, that’s entirely up to them, but they would do well to try to find a system of government that works better than their limited, constitutional monarchy. It won’t be easy.

According to United Nations analysis, more than half of the 20 freest countries in the world are monarchies. The bottom ten are all republics.

The defeat of 55 to 45 percent of republicanism in the Australian referendum of November 1999 seems long ago now, but it is interesting to see how little the underlying circumstances have changed.

“You wonder when you’ll be delivered from the British monarchy,” the late Australian author Clive James told an audience in the country after the Republican defeat.

‘You are free under the British monarchy. What you do have to guarantee is that you are free under the following system.’

King Charles III is particularly well equipped to face the threats of the Crown Commonwealth and with Queen Consort Camilla, sooner rather than later, he would have to embark on a tour of the Commonwealth, to take advantage of its vast well of sympathy and support. that the House of Windsor is currently experiencing.

King Charles III is particularly well equipped to face the threats of the Crown Commonwealth, and together with Queen Consort Camilla, he should be getting around it sooner rather than later.

King Charles III is particularly well equipped to face the threats of the Crown Commonwealth, and together with Queen Consort Camilla, he should be getting around it sooner rather than later.

His diplomatic skills have been consistently underestimated. He has a profound personal interest both in this country’s place in the world and in the Commonwealth itself.

For years, he attended the meetings of Commonwealth heads of government in place of his mother, Queen Elizabeth. He’s a realist, as he did to make it clear.

But I have no doubt that he will be tenacious in fighting for her legacy. His well-reviewed speech on Friday, promising he will be a constitutional monarch who will not meddle in politics, will enhance his empire’s appeal of having a head of state above politics, who will give his advice, encouragement and warning does in private.

But even if every empire except the United Kingdom renounced the monarchy, it wouldn’t affect the Commonwealth, headed by King Charles and in which 64 percent of the nations are already republics.

In the 1970s, the Commonwealth was a basket: nothing in common and no wealth, as the mocking old joke went. Filled with brutal dictatorships and kleptocratic regimes, it had become a disgrace on the world stage.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Elizabeth II, but by the mid-1990s, it was once again a force for good in the world. Today it is more than that.

Increasingly threatened by the sinister global ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party, the Commonwealth is proving to be an indispensable part of the free world. The 56 member states are not all former territories of the British Empire.

And today, the 2.6 billion people make up one-third of the world’s population, who live on one-fifth of the land mass.

Those wishing to continually challenge Britain’s past should instead look to the wider Commonwealth vision, Britain’s vibrant modern legacy.

The denigration of Britain’s past proved insufficient for Australia to vote for a republic in 1999, when that past was nearly a quarter of a century closer than it is now.

In October 2011, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, herself a Republican, welcomed the Queen to Australia as ‘an essential constitutional element’ of Australian democracy.

Republicanism is overwhelmingly supported by a media and political elite, prompting Clive James to remark: “There is a danger in Australia that the consensus of commentary deviates too far from popular opinion, to the point where it comment becomes contemptuous of the people.’

The parallels with Brexit are clear. Today, opinion polls show that a large number of young Australian radicals view the monarchy republic debate as ‘irrelevant’ when compared to the issues of climate change, Indigenous rights and sexual harassment.

Because the Republican campaign lacks minority grievances to inspire new generations of activists, and doesn’t fit into the victim-oppressor model of wakeful politics, it is widely regarded as outdated.

Meanwhile, William and Kate, the new Prince and Princess of Wales, present to many non-political Australians the modern face of an old institution.

Meanwhile, William and Kate, the new Prince and Princess of Wales, present to many non-political Australians the modern face of an old institution

Meanwhile, William and Kate, the new Prince and Princess of Wales, present to many non-political Australians the modern face of an old institution

When the Cambridges, as they were then, visited Australia in April 2014, polls showed that 60 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds were against a republic.

So for millennials, Australian republicanism is an idea whose time has passed.

A brilliant book soon to be published, The Enduring Crown Commonwealth by Michael Smith and Stephen Klimczuk-Massion, describes how Australian constitutional monarchists such as former Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott convinced ordinary Australians that it was in their best interests to status quo.

As King Charles is known to have always been a passionate environmentalist when he was Prince of Wales – indeed a leader of the movement long before the term ‘climate change’ even came into common parlance – his popularity among Australians is likely to continue to grow.

The embarrassments of the Lady Di era are now a quarter of a century away and Queen Consort Camilla is the kind of no-nonsense person Australians love because they tend to be straight themselves.

Whatever may happen in Jamaica, where the government is fueling resentments that frankly have nothing to do with the royal family and also ignores the profound constitutional issues, if Australia remains under King Charles’ realms it is highly unlikely that New Zealand will and Canada would. deserted, let alone the smaller areas in the Pacific and elsewhere.

So far from achieving a Republican victory in the coming years, there is still everything to fight for.

And in King Charles III we have the man to lead the attack.

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