Australian PM says King Charles III will ‘focus on Commonwealth’
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The Commonwealth will survive under King Charles III, a new poll of Express.co.uk readers has found. The Commonwealth was formed in 1949 as a “free and equal” community of British colonies and today has 56 members, encompassing two billion people. Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles replaced his mother as head of the organisation.
He was named as his mother’s successor by members in 2018 and at the time said he was “deeply touched” to be given the role.
The Commonwealth describes itself as “a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal countries” whose “governments have agreed to shared goals like development, democracy and peace”.
Today, just 14 Commonwealth Realms have the British Monarch as head of state, as members have chosen to become republics.
Last year, Barbados removed the Monarch as its head of state and became the first country in almost 30 years to do so.
This has caused other members to consider the British Monarchy’s role in their country, with Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda both promising to hold referendums on the matter.
Similarly, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has said she expects her country to become a republic, but no action will be taken anytime soon.
In a poll that ran from 1pm on Wednesday, September 21, to 4pm on Saturday, September, 24, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Will the Commonwealth survive under Charles?”
Overall, 1,639 people cast their votes with the vast majority, 68 percent (1,109 people) answering “yes”, the Commonwealth will survive under King Charles III.
A further 27 percent (446 people) said “no” it would not, while five percent (84 people) said they did not know.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers took part in a discussion on the future of the Commonwealth.
Many readers were in support of the Commonwealth continuing under the King with one reader, username MrsMitchell writing: “I do believe the Commonwealth will survive nicely under King Charles.”
Username Milton keynes mum wrote: “Yes, there is no reason why the Commonwealth should not survive, it is up to the individual countries, they can belong or not their choice.
“I do not see just because the Queen has died why anything needs to change.”
Another, username Mack20 said: “Yes, the Commonwealth will survive. It is a large group of associated free nations with the chief aim of friendship and mutual support.
“Countries do not need to have the British Monarch as Head of State to belong.”
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Meanwhile, some readers thought that the Commonwealth would prosper under a new leader.
Username kingmatthew wrote: “Not only will the Commonwealth survive under King Charles lll, it will grow.”
And username Travlinman said: “Of course it will survive – countries want to join the Commonwealth.”
Others argued that the Commonwealth would change in the future with username Exlancslad commenting: “The Commonwealth may survive but a lot will be free of the Royal head of state.”
Username 1down1across said: “Don’t think it will be Charles’s fault if some countries do breakaway, there’s been murmurings for some years about this.”
While username ChristianChrist said: “If countries want to leave then so be it.”
However, Dr Meera Sabaratnam, Associate Professor in International Relations, at SOAS London University, has claimed that the Royal Family’s role in the Commonwealth is not assured.
She told Sky News: “I think that [the Queen’s death] will give rise to thinking about a different kind of organisation if it indeed survives.”
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