Could This Happen In Australia When Charles Becomes King?

There are going to be a few changes around the ol' palace when Prince Charles finally takes his long-awaited throne. For starters, he's spoken about the slimmed-down version of the royal family he'd like to put in place, ostensibly to save the taxpayers money, although it may also have the side benefit of removing some of the, shall we say, more contentious family members from their seat around the holiday table. He may also opt for a less ostentatious lifestyle, and the Daily Mail expects him to open up more of what are currently private royal living quarters in the multiple palaces owned by the monarchy and make them available for viewing by the ticket-buying public. No word on whether the prince plans to drop the private plane nicknamed "Heir Force One" in favor of a bus or even a bicycle, but that aircraft itself is considerably less ostentatious than the one used to ferry around the POTUS.

There's one way in which Charles' monarchy may be stripped down to an extent that he hasn't exactly signed off on –- he could, in the future, be reigning over a slightly smaller territory. Well, about 3 million miles smaller, as this is the size of the Australian landmass, as per the Australian government. So wait, where is Australia going? Nowhere, of course –- it's going to remain Down Under where it belongs. It's just that this current Commonwealth nation may soon decide they no longer require the services of a monarch.

The Commonwealth is already shrinking

To condense centuries of history into a single sentence, the country of England had, by the 18th century, evolved into an empire that included territory on every single continent but Antarctica (via the BBC). As we're all well aware, up through 1776, this included the U.S., and it still includes our neighbor to the Great White North.  As of 2021, World Population Review indicates that there are still 53 countries remaining in what is now known as the British Commonwealth. The main difference between the Commonwealth and what was formerly known as the British Empire, it would seem, is that the Commonwealth countries participate by their own consent, which was not always the case back in the bad old days of imperial expansion.

On November 30, 2021, that list of countries was reduced by one, as Barbados chose to exercise its option to become an independent republic. University of Sydney professor Dr. Cindy McCreery spoke with the Express about whether Australia might soon follow suit. As she phrased her answer, a qualified maybe, "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." 

In her opinion, Australia won't be breaking away as long as Queen Elizabeth sits on the throne. Once Charles takes over, however, she thinks "things will move."

Charles has ruffled a few feathers in Australia

While Dr. McCreery calls Queen Elizabeth "a widely revered and admired head of state in Australia" (via the Express), her son's a more controversial figure. He's criticized Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, for lack of commitment to environmental issues, even calling Morrison out for his hesitance to attend the Glasgow Climate Conference COP26 (via Global Voices),

While some Australians support the Prince of Wales' strong stance on all things green, the old guard — the ones most likely to favor the monarchy — tend to be turned off by it. As Express reports, a host on Sky New Australia recently posed the question "Could we see people who are traditionally more conservative and more likely to want to stay with the Royal Family pushing away the from the royals because of King Charles the Green's stance on climate?" Commentator Michael McLaren replied, "Well, in short, we could," although he went on to say of Charles, "Once he gets the crown on his noggin, if he stops playing openly in the political arena, well then I guess he's playing by the rulebook."

One point in favor of Australia remaining part of the Commonwealth is that the next-gen royals -– William, Kate, and their kids -– are more popular with the younger Australians than is Charles. In fact, now that William's revealed his secret passion for AC/DC, who knows, Australia might just bypass Charles and declare William to be King Kangaroo!