Prince Harry or William for Australia governor general?

0
2999

Prince Harry or William for Australia governor general? Maybe, says MP

Liberal MP Julian Leeser says country should leave open possibility of royal taking over the soon-to-be vacant post.

An Australian MP has raised the possibility of Prince William or Prince Harry becoming governor general of Australia, during a debate about whether Australia should become a republic.

At the event held at the Lowy Institute, a thinktank based in Sydney, federal Liberal MP Julian Leeser was asked by an audience member whether he would ever support a governor general who was not an Australian citizen.

Leeser, who was speaking in favour of Australia remaining a constitutional monarchy, said he thought it was “very unlikely” that a non-Australian would be appointed to the role, but said his support would depend on who that person was.

Prince Charles, pictured with William and Harry in 2014 (Image GETTY)
Prince Charles, pictured with William and Harry in 2014 (Image GETTY)

“I don’t know who it would be,” he said. “If you’re saying to me, would I support Prince William or Prince Harry becoming governor general? I think we should leave that possibility open.

“But I think in the main, the likelihood is that we’re only going to have Australians serving in that role, but you’d have to gauge public sympathy.”

The governor general is the queen’s representative in Australia and is appointed by the prime minister. There is nothing in the Australian constitution saying they must be an Australian citizen and until the 1930s, governors general were British.

Michael Cooney, national director of the Australian Republic Movement, whom Leeser was debating, said the comment was “a curious thing to say”.

“He wasn’t asked ‘What do you think of William and Harry as a governor general?’ he [was asked]: ‘Should it be an Australian?’ and he introduced the idea of William and Harry.”

Prince William also has a scar which he jokingly calls his Harry Potter scar (Image GettyImages)
Prince William also has a scar which he jokingly calls his Harry Potter scar (Image GettyImages)

Cooney likened the comment to Tony Abbott’s infamous decision to award a knighthood to Prince Philip in 2015 and said it was particularly odd given there are currently discussions about who will replace current governor general Peter Cosgrove when he steps down in March.

Among the names being discussed to replace Cosgrove, who was appointed by Tony Abbott in 2014, is former foreign minister Julie Bishop. Labor leader Bill Shorten wrote to Scott Morrison last month asking him to extend the governor general’s tenure for six months, to give Shorten a chance of picking Cosgrove’s replacement if he wins the election.

Meghan curtseys while Prince Harry and Prince William bow their heads, following royal tradition (Image GETTY)
Meghan curtseys while Prince Harry and Prince William bow their heads, following royal tradition (Image GETTY)

Cooney said it is not the first time that the idea of a royal heir taking the job has been floated, with discussion in the 1970s about Prince Charles becoming governor general.

“I think that’s a terrible idea,” said Cooney, of any prince being appointed to the role. “The main thing is it illustrates the problem at the moment which is that Australians get no say. So basically a prime ministerial thought bubble decides who the governor general is.”

The Queen is said to be concerned about Prince Harry and William's priorities Photo (C) GETTY
The Queen is said to be concerned about Prince Harry and William’s priorities Photo (C) GETTY

A representative for Leeser said he had nothing further to add to his comments.

Since you’re here…
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

Kate did partake in a 100-metre sprint, with Prince William and Prince Harry Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES
Kate did partake in a 100-metre sprint, with Prince William and Prince Harry Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES

The Guardian is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our Editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important because it enables us to give a voice to the voiceless, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different to so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical.

Princes Harry and William joked about Harry
Princes Harry and William joked about Harry

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

Source: theguardian com