LONDON – King Charles III held his first reception on Sunday, at least for now, for representatives of the Commonwealth of Nations, the 14 former colonies he governs in addition to Britain.
As the Republican movement spreads from Australia to Antigua, one of the 73-year-old’s biggest challenges is how to maintain the global family his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, loved.
On his third full day as King, the King welcomed Ms Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of 56 nations, to Buckingham Palace for a reception with the Royal High Commissioner and his spouse.
Hours ago, Australia and New Zealand formally named King Charles after making a glamorous proclamation in London on Saturday.
But while his enthusiastic tribute to the “Mama Queen” as she was known in Papua New Guinea left no doubt about his widespread love for his mother, King Charles inspired the same devotion. I have my doubts as to whether it is possible.
Last year, the Caribbean island nation of Barbados became the latest country to declare a republic, with others heading in that direction.
A good portion of Australians want a republic, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, but for now he’s focused on mourning the late Queen.
“The important thing is to commemorate the moment we are in,” he told Britain’s Sky News, ruling out a first-term referendum.
Shortly after Charles was recognized as king of Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Brown said he intended to hold a referendum on the republic “within the next three years”.
“This is not an act of hostilities or a distinction between Antigua and Barbuda and a monarchy, but it is the final step in completing the ring of independence,” he told ITV News.
Republicans are a minority in Canada, but a poll last April found 67% opposed to King Charles succeeding his mother.
Calls for change are also growing in Jamaica, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness telling King Charles’ son William in March that the country was “moving forward” as an independent nation.
A Caribbean tour with Prince William’s wife Kate has been met with protests and demands for the monarchy to apologize and pay reparations for its role in the slave trade.
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/with-republicans-at-the-gates-king-charles-iii-meets-realm-envoys Republicans stand at the gates and King Charles III meets royal emissaries