Australians sure do love the younger Windsors-and why that increases the chance of Prince Charles being their king.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just finished their 16-day tour, and by all account, it was a huge success. The pair managed to attend 76 engagements during these 16 days, throughout all four countries, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, and Tonga. From the surprise baby announcement at the beginning to the end with the Invictus Games closing ceremony, the tour was one hell of a ride, for both the royal and their fans.
Day by day, the crowds kept getting bigger, hitting 10,00 when the couple had a public picnic in drought-stricken Dubbo, a rural farming community 400 km north west of Sydney. Quite ironically, rain started to pour that day, but that didn’t stop the people from coming out and meeting the royal couple, even if they were soaking wet when they did.
And now, after their tour has ended, the influence and popularity of the royal in Australia has skyrocketed, which in turn spells bad news for the Australian republicans, who couldn’t wait to wave them off. With every royal visit, especially from the younger Royal such as Prince William and Prince Harry, and their families, of course, the idea of leaving the monarchy behind is becoming less and less likely.
Back in 2014, when Prince William and Kate Middleton visited Australia, their first born-then just nine months old-Prince George was photographed with a cute bilby, a native animal, he was dubbed the republican slayer. It incredible how the youngest members have the biggest influence. I mean who can stand against the combined cuteness of George, Charlotte, Louis, and their cousin-to-be baby Sussex.
Prince Harry has always been a favorite amongst Australians. His laidback nature, combined with his troublemaker attitude make him what locals call a “larrikin”. He just looks like the type of guy you could just go get a beer with. And it sure does help that in 2015, he was embedded in the Royal Australian Defense Force. And now paired with his wife, Meghan Markle a peoples favorite across the world, he is basically unstoppable. Indigenous Australians and young women who met Meghan saw her as a symbol of female empowerment. The Royal family has gone out of the cut-and-dry posh royal attitude of old.
Four years ago there was a bit of a different response when the Cambridge toured. They did turn heads and grab lots of attention, but they weren’t beacons of change in the same way Harry and Meghan turned out to be.
The Prince of Wales also toured in the country earlier this year, but his turnout fade in comparison to the younger royals. However, we can’t imagine that Charles minds much and is happy for the support his family is getting from the realm.
But why is Australia so darn important to The Crown? It is all connected to the Commonwealth. Australia, along with New Zealand and Canada are the most prosperous and important countries, even though the official number is 16 countries that are part of it. So for Charles, who was appointed the designated successor of The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth a few months ago, it is important that he has their support.
There is also a past behind the royal family and Australia. The Queen was the first reigning monarch to visit Australia in 1954, and Prince Charles studied here age 17, his first experience of life outside Britain and has visited regularly since then. The bond is deep and affectionate. Charles has even set up his own charity, the Prince’s Trust Australia.
But what about the other side? What about Australia, why is it so keen to hang on the monarchy? In America, the Royals are equally adored, but no one is saying that they want the Queen as head of state. It’s a topic that has caused lots of confusion.
Part of the answer lies in the role of Her Majesty as a constitutional monarch. Its a system of government that has kept Australia stable and even though it seems messy it still works, argue monarchists. Australia’s two main political parties have been making the country unstable, having seven Prime Ministers in ten years, so the thought of the royal family reassures the people of some kind of stability.
Zeal for the monarchy has ebbed and flowed reaching an all-time low in 1975 when the Governor-General, the Queen’s representative in Australia, actually dismissed the government.
And although a majority of (power hungry) politicians and even a former Governor-General support a republic to this day with an Australia as head of state, the people don’t agree very much. Back in 1999, there was a national referendum in which the people voted to keep the Queen. But recent polls in Australia showed that half of Australians supported a republic, with 35 percent against and 10 percent uncommitted. These numbers are not enough to change the constitution