Finishing off their second day in Australia, Prince Charles took the time to meet with republican prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. The meeting comes just as an opinion poll revealed that most Australians would be in favour abolishing the monarchy if Charles was to become King.
While in the capital Canberra, The Prince of Wales was welcomed onto the tarmac at a military base by Turnbull, who tried to avoid any questions about this support for having an Australian-born head of state instead of the Prince.
He had one comment on the matter, saying “If Charles becomes King of the United Kingdom – and I have no doubt that he will be – unless our constitution has been changed, he will become the King of Australia,”
When asked if he would be okay with that he said, “I am a happy person and as I said, there’s never been a better time to be an Australian.”
Turnbull in the past has accused Charles of unashamed adultery through his relationship with Camilla and said that it would be hard to see Australia ever accepting him as their King. Despite his opinions, the way the constitution stands today, Prince Charles will succeed his mother Queen Elizabeth when her reign comes to an end becoming Australia’s next head of state.
He has also admitted that replacing the monarchy is not at the top of his government’s agenda.
In 1999, a referendum left the monarchy in place after republicans were split over what type of head of state should replace the monarchy. As of today, an opinion poll showed that 51 per cent of Australians would not accept Prince Charles as King instead they would rather abolish the monarchy.
The poll took place between November 5 to 8 by Essential Research and was commissioned by the republican movement asking 1008 voters: “When Prince Charles becomes King of Australia, will you support or oppose replacing the British monarch with an Australian citizen as Australia’s head of state?”
Those opposed to a constitutional change were only 27 per cent and 22 per cent were undecided. These numbers were highly different than a poll released on the eve of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son, Prince George’s arrival last year in April which showed that the support for a republican movement was the lowest in 35 years.
The same poll showed that 51 percent thought it was unnecessary to abolish the monarchy, 42 percent described themselves as a republican, and 28 per cent wished to get rid of the monarchy immediately while 31 percent would wait until Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends.
The most recent poll shows very similar numbers to that of a Canadian poll that was taken in September of this year.
While the meeting today between Prince Charles and Turnbull was excepted to be awkward, they both put on brave faces during their first encounter. Later they honoured Australia’s war victims by laying wreaths at a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. They then had talks at Government House, the official residence of the Queen’s representative, Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove.
During Charles and Turnbull’s meetings at Government House, Camilla braved the heavy rain along with the Australian prime minister’s wife Lucy Turnbull to scramble eggs infused with truffles and ice cream.
The ladies were also able to experience a truffle hunting demonstration where they watched a black labrador, Samson, wind around trees until he found the truffle hidden by French Black Truffles farm manager Jayson Mesman. Executive chef of Canberra’s Sage Dining Rooms, Damian Brabender put on a marvellous cookery demonstration by creating ice cream by placing dry ice into a mixture of cream, egg, sugar and truffle that produced a mist.
Later in the day, Charles and Camilla reunited to visit an arboretum dedicated to saving rare and endangered trees.