The death of Queen Elizabeth can open the floodgates for self-rule initiatives
When Queen Elizabeth assumed the throne at the age of 25 years old, the sun had just about to set over the British Empire.
At the moment she’s put to rest, the reign of the monarchy is less extensive and the loyalty of her subjects is more voluntary however, it is nonetheless global. When she died Elizabeth was Queen Elizabeth had been the supreme ruler of 15 nations as well as the official head of state for the greater Commonwealth with a sway of more than 2.5 million people that ranged from Canada up to Australia, Jamaica to Ghana, Pakistan to Fiji.
However, as her son, a septuagenarian, King Charles III assumes his reign the reigns of the kingdom, the possibilities for keeping this huge kingdom together are not good.
The colonies that were once ruled by the House of Windsor ruled are now part of the Commonwealth which is a loose group with 56 members which occasionally profit from that of the British state. Many are discontent, and the respect and loyalty that their governments have pledged to Elizabeth will be testified by the new monarch, who is more pragmatic and less royal.
“The reason why so many countries have remained within the group [is that] they didn’t want to offend her,” explained Elisabeth Braw, a senior member of the American Enterprise Institute with a specialization in the United Kingdom. “Countries have stayed on, remained with the status of having her as head of state much longer than they would have because they felt so much loyalty to her personally.”
Consider Australia which has long been at war with the republican wing of the country. Although a referendum in 1999 on the possibility of replacing the monarchy with the presidency was snubbed and the newly-elected Premier Anthony Albanese this year appointed the first minister of the country who will oversee the transition towards becoming an independent republic.
With the queen gone and replaced by the less popular Charles III, the King Charles III Republicans in Australia are looking forward to a rerun on the issue of the referendum. But, it’s unlikely to occur in the near time frame, since Albanese declared during his election campaign earlier in the year that he will not organize an election regarding a republic till after his second term in office should he win one which is likely to put the vote between four and five years from now.
Before that, Australians will be able to vote on a pressing question during the first term of office, the Albanese government announced it would conduct a referendum on the “voice to parliament” -which is a body that will be established into the Australian constitution, which would allow Aboriginal as well as Torres Strait Islander people to advise government and parliament.
In neighboring New Zealand, a recent poll revealed that the majority of New Zealanders favor staying connected to the monarchy, even after the death of the queen, even though Prime Minister Jacinda Arden admitted the possibility that New Zealand would likely move into an independent Republic “within my lifetime.”
In Canada Premier Justin Trudeau paid tribute to the queen on Thursday, calling her “one of my favorite people in the world,” however, his country does not have the same respect for her son. A poll conducted by The non-profit Angus Reid Institute found that only 34 percent of those polled were in favor of the possibility of King Charles as the next as head of the state.
There is a Republican trend that is heading in one direction only It’s just a matter of when. Barbados was declared a republic in 2021 and Jamaican Premier Andrew Holness declared his country’s intention to “become an independent” nation in the course of a visit by the granddaughter of the queen Prince William in the spring of this year.
The time of mourning and the widespread love for the Queen will result in an immediate halt to attempts to cut the ribbon.
Tom Freda, the national director of Citizens for the Canadian Republic has opted to not comment on the next steps until following the queen’s funeral, which is scheduled for less than a week however the group released a statement saying it has been “on record as having sympathy” for republican views. The group that runs the campaign the New Zealand Republic took a similar position, offering “condolences” for the royal family in a statement and announcing that it would not make other public statements till after the service.
However, the honeymoon of King Charles is likely to be brief, and he’ll soon need to establish his rule and earn the respect of his mother over seven years. There are some encouraging indications, however.
The Commonwealth has waiting lists to join which comprises South Sudan and Suriname, both former British colonies. The process for joining the non-profit organization may take years to complete, and it requires that you acknowledge the monarch as the head of the ceremony of the organization.
Some critics say it’s difficult to comprehend the significance that the group’s operations as well as the funding for its programs across the globe are funded by the member states. In addition, in 2020, the United Kingdom 2020 contributed only PS5 million.
“The Commonwealth is a community of like-minded nations, countries that used to be part of the British Empire,” Braw stated. “It’s a community of friendships between nations … the only material benefit is being asked to compete in the Commonwealth Games.”
It was a topic for whom the Queen was ardent in her pledge to offer her “heart and soul every day of life” to the Commonwealth in a speech from 1953.
“You cannot exaggerate enough the importance of the Queen to the Commonwealth, she has made it her life’s work to support the Commonwealth,” said Sue Onslow, director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London. “She has been the international organization’s devoted champion.”
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland paid tribute to the queen on Thursday, pointing out that the queen had not missed one Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting between 1971 and the year 2018.
“The growth and vibrancy of our modern Commonwealth is a credit to her and testament to her dedication, wisdom, and leadership,” Scotland declared.
King Charles being her successor as the head of state of the Commonwealth was not a given, however. The heads of Commonwealth nations officially acknowledged his heirship in 2018, after the queen’s “sincere wish” this would happen.
Charles could have had more success running the Commonwealth rather than thwarting the republican movement, but there is constant pressure on him to confront the devastating legacy of slavery in many of the former colonies. Charles delivered an address in Rwanda earlier in the year at last year’s Commonwealth meeting, where he stated it was the “time has come” to consider the effects of slavery. He also expressed “sorrow” over the practice but he did not offer an official apology.
“He says that this needs to be an open and honest discussion, and the time is now,” Onslow stated. “These are very important issues within Commonwealth countries … particularly within Caribbean member countries.”
In other areas that are important to the Commonwealth, the monarch has been a more vocal advocate, especially in the area of sustainability for the environment that he has been passionately involved in for more than five years. As king, however, is likely to lessen his rhetoric to fit his new role in the hope to follow in the queen’s footsteps.
“Charles will be another royal diplomat,” Onslow stated. But only time will tell if his vast dominions are willing to welcome a new person within that same cape.