Australia will keep King Charles as head of state for at least 3 years as PM rules out referendum on becoming republic | The Sun

AUSTRALIA will keep King Charles as head of state for at least three years as its prime minister has ruled out a referendum on becoming a republic.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese vowed he would not hold a referendum in his first term out of "deep respect" for the late Queen.

Her death had re-sparked debate around the country's relationship with monarchy.

But Mr Albanese, who was elected this year, said now was a time to show gratitude for Her Majesty's service to Australia, the Commonwealth and the world, not question the constitution.

He had also previously stated Australia needs a head of state, and his country – along with New Zealand – proclamated King Charles into the role in ceremonies today.

Mr Albanese told Sky News: "The bigger questions about our constitution are not ones for this current period.

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"This is a period in which we are sharing the grief that so many Australians are feeling at the moment, showing our deep respect and admiration for the contribution of the Queen to Australia.

"It's a sad time. There's also a time to celebrate what is a long life, well lived."

He added: "I think the Queen was with Australians during times of celebration – the opening of this house, Parliament House, in 1988, the opening of the Sydney Opera House during our great historic events, but was also with Australia at times of difficulties.

"This is a land of cyclones, of floods, of natural disasters, and Queen Elizabeth always reached out to give that comfort to Australians at our time of need.

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"She was such a respected figure, regardless of where people stand on the political spectrum.

"That 70 years of public service, that devotion to duty, is something that holds her in such high regard."

Speaking about King Charles, he said:"He's someone who has a deep relationship with Australia.

"I hope that he is able to visit here on an occasion as soon as possible.

"This, of course, is a substantial change. The only monarch that we have known in my lifetime, and in the lifetime of most Australians, has been Queen Elizabeth."

It comes as…

  • Princes William and Harry and wives Kate and Meghan dramatically reunited yesterday in tribute to the Queen
  • Princess Kate revealed son Louis' poignant reaction after she told him the Queen had died
  • The full details of the Queen’s dignified final journey from Balmoral to London have been revealed
  • Senior royals faced a mysterious hour-long delay as they raced to be with the dying Queen
  • Prince Harry told mourners "it's a lonely place up there now without her" as he met crowds of well-wishers
  • Meghan Markle revealed her support for Princess Kate and Prince William with a telling gesture

When Mr Albanese was asked whether Australians want to see the institution of the monarchy evolve, he said: "It has evolved and it will continue to evolve. It will need to continue to move with the times."

Today marked the formal proclamation of the accession of Charles III as King of Australia in a ceremony in the country's capital, Canberra.

A similar ceremony took place in New Zealand's capital, Wellington.

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While there was no talks of change like her neighbour, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "King Charles … has consistently demonstrated his deep care for our nation.

"This relationship is deeply valued by our people. I have no doubt it will deepen."

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