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State & Ceremonial

Jacinda Ardern swears alliance to The Queen as she is officially appointed New Zealand’s PM

Jacinda Ardern has officially taken up the office of Prime Minister as she swore alliance to Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony which took place on Thursday morning.

Her Majesty couldn’t be at the ceremony in Wellington in person, so Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy officially bestowed the PM into office at Government House.

Ms Ardern was joined by her partner and father at the event. The 37-year-old is the 17th Prime Minister to serve under The Queen in the Australasian country.

Ms Ardern’s Labour Party came second in September’s election. However, no party was able to secure an overall majority.

Ms Ardern’s party has, however, successfully formed a coalition with the New Zealand First party and the Green Party.

It was thought that the New Zealand National Party, led by previous Prime Minister Bill English would be the first to form a coalition, but this is not the case.

Mr English’s premiership lasted for less than a year. He became Prime Minister of New Zealand in December 2016 following the resignation of John Key.

The new Prime Minister has expressed republican tendencies in the past. Speaking to The Times, Ms Ardern said: “I am a republican, but you will find there are people in New Zealand who aren’t actively pursuing that change.

“It’s certainly not about my view of the monarchy but my view of New Zealand’s place in the world and carving out our own future. So that is what drives my sentiment.”

The Queen and the governmental system of Constitutional Monarchy are becoming less popular in New Zealand as the years go by. A poll conducted last year suggests 60 per cent of people favouring becoming a republic, rising to 76 per cent among those aged 18 to 30.

The poll showed that young people, in particular, were keen to cut ties with Britain, with 76 per cent of those between the ages of 18 to 30 wanting to become a republic.

However, Ms Ardern does say that the debate on whether to lose the Monarchy will be an uncomfortable situation.

She said: “No matter when you have the conversation there’s a knock-on effect, there’s a much-loved monarch who will be affected by that decision.”