Some parts of King Charles III's realm are already moving to replace him with their own head of state
When Britain's Charles III was proclaimed king on Saturday, it wasn't just formalizing his role as sovereign over England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. He was also pronounced head of state in 14 other countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and island nations in the Caribbean and South Pacific. The same proclamation read in London and other cities and towns across the United Kingdom was also read throughout the Commonwealth realm over the weekend.
Here's how that looked in Canada, where, according to an April poll, about half the country is ready for a divorce from the monarchy.
The role of the British monarch, as represented in these 14 countries by a governor general, is mostly ceremonial. "And though Prince Charles has now been proclaimed the new king for all these 'realm and territories,' in many of them," the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week "has been greeted with bolder calls for full independence," The New York Times reports."From the Caribbean to the Pacific, people are asking: Why do we swear allegiance to a monarch in London?"
Barbados dropped the British crown last year, Jamaica is planning to go next, and Antigua and Barbuda's leader said he plans to put the monarchy to a referendum within three years.
"Queen Elizabeth was a beloved figure who in her 70 years on the throne provided a sense of stability and constancy to millions of people worldwide, and she established a personal connection with many ordinary citizens in her dozens of state visits overseas," The Wall Street Journal explains. "But with the accession of the less-popular King Charles, republican campaigners have an opportunity to argue their position without being seen as insulting a well-liked queen."
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently appointed his country's first minister to lead the tradition to becoming a republic, but he has also said he won't put that to a vote in his first time in office. Poll suggest New Zealand has little popular appetite to drop the monarchy, though Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has said she believes her country would move toward republicanism "within my lifetime."
"The queen, in a way, allowed the whole jigsaw puzzle to hang together so long as she was there," Mark McKenna, a historian at the University of Sydney, tells the Times. "But I'm not sure it'll continue to hang on."