Speaking about whether Barbados’ Bridgetown ceremony could increase support for republicanism in Australia, Dr McCreery said: “I think Barbados becoming a republic makes bigger headlines in Britain than it does here.
“Having said that I think it is relevant and I think that this is a time when Australians are starting to think about the future, but I want to make it clear that in Australia the discussion about moving towards a republic is a complicated one for a number of reasons.”
The Sydney University professor also warned while it would be unrealistic to think Australia will become a republic during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, 95, things could change following the coronation of Prince Charles, 73.
Looking ahead to the Prince of Wales’ reign, McCreery said: “In many ways, she [Queen Elizabeth] has been such a widely revered and admired head of state in Australia, but also around the world that it is hard to envisage a head of state who would be as equally as admired and respected.”
She added: “I think what you will start to see happen is when the Queen passes away that is when things will move.”
Australia’s support for the Crown could wane during Prince Charles’ reign, expert warns
“In many ways, she [Queen Elizabeth] has been such a widely revered and admired head of state.”
Prince Charles recently criticised Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 53, for Canberra’s alleged inaction in tackling climate change.
But when asked whether this has had an impact on support for the crown in Australia, the Sydney-based professor seemed sceptical and instead suggested other issues inside the Firm could cause problems for monarchists.
“It’s complex with Charles because on the one hand I think he is admired for his climate change activism… [but] on the other hand I think Charles is a little bit controversial because of the slight concern about his relationship with Harry and Meghan,” she said.
In fact, McCreery also suggested younger members of the Royal Family could carry broader support than the Duke of Cornwall.
When Prince William, 39, Kate Middleton, 39 and Prince George, 8, visited the land ‘Down Under’ back in 2014, the Cambridges returned to the UK with the Sydney Herald claiming support for an Australian republic had reached its lowest level in more than three decades.
Support for Elizabeth, who last visited Australia in 2011, has also been strong since her Commonwealth tour in 1954 when around three-quarters of Australians lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the monarch.
Cambridges returned to the UK having dented Australian support for a republic
McCreery warned there is “concern” over Charles’ (left) relationship with Harry (right) and Meghan
However, Dr McCreery claimed younger Australians and those from outside the nation’s Anglo-Celtic community are far less supportive of the Royal Family.
The professor also stressed the need to consider what would replace the constitutional monarchy when thinking about how a referendum could pan out.
“The key lesson from the 1999 referendum,” she explained, “was that you’ve got to have public support about the mechanism for determining the next head of state.
“There was a lot of criticism in 1999 that the question, the way it was posed, was confusing for people.”
McCreery added: “If there’s a credible republican programme with a very clear, well-understood and also broadly supported mechanism for selecting the next head of state and ideally some stand out candidates that people broadly support then I could see us becoming a republic in the next 10 years.”
However, much of this will also depend on Australia’s domestic politics.
While there are exceptions to the rule, such as ex-Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, 67, Dr McCreery claimed Scott Morrison’s party would offer more protection and support for the Firm than the Labor Party.
Prince Charles in Barbados
Her Majesty in Australia back in 2011
Australia is set to hold its next federal election in 2022 and recent opinion polls suggest Mr Morrison, who is a self-proclaimed constitutional monarchist, currently trails behind Labor’s republican-leaning leader Anthony Albanese, 58, in the two-party-preferred vote.
Speaking about how significant partisan politics could be to the future of the Royal Family in Australia, Dr McCreery said: “If Elizabeth is still the Queen [and] if the Liberal Government is still in power then I think Australia will probably still be a constitutional monarchy in 10 years time.”
Despite Dr McCreery’s claim support for the monarchy would persist during the reign of Elizabeth, the national director and CEO of the Australian Republican Movement Sandy Biar appeared adamant their campaign starts now.
Mr Biar claimed: “The time to start a national discussion about Australia becoming a republic is now. This should not wait until King Charles is on the throne.”
He added: “The Australian Republic Movement has been listening closely to the views of Australians and building consensus as we move closer to presenting a positive alternative to the British Monarchy.”
But the national chair of the Australian Monarchist League Philip Benwell also told Express.co.uk the group is “ready and prepared to mobilise and fight the next campaign” while claiming the republican flame had only been “kept alive because it is [the] official policy of the Australian Labor Party”.
“There was a lot of criticism in 1999 that the question was confusing for people.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a constitutional monarchist
When asked what he thought the result of a hypothetical referendum would be, Mr Benwell said: “Once the detail of change to the Constitution, which at its simplest would take around 70 amendments, [is laid bare] I believe that people would resile and vote no.”
The national chair of the Australian Monarchist League also claimed if republicans failed to detail proposed constitutional changes before a referendum then the Australian Monarchist League would challenge this and even be prepared to go to the High Court.
However, Mr Benwell also warned the Prince of Wales’ climate change agenda could hinder support for the crown.
“If the passion of the new King for climate action overrides this, then the monarchy could be weakened,” he said.
Express.co.uk has also approached the Australian Prime Minister’s press office for further comment on Canberra’s constitutional plans going forward.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK