CANBERRA (AP) – By Dr. Majid Khan ,Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday he would become King Charles III. He believes Australia should have its own head of state, but he swears allegiance at the monarch’s coronation.
The Albanian failed in his 1999 referendum, but elected an Australian citizen to replace the British monarch as head of state. He admits the majority of Australians have chosen to keep the country a constitutional monarchy rather than becoming a republic, and he will do so when he attends the king’s coronation in London on Saturday.
“I have not changed my position on that and have made it very clear. I would love to see an Australian become head of state for Australia,” Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“That doesn’t mean that you cannot have respect for the institution, which is the system of government that we have,” he said. “And I believe, as the Australian prime minister, I have a particular responsibility to represent the nation in a way that respects the constitutional arrangements, which are there.”
The Australian Republic Movement, which campaigns for Australia to become a republic, has urged Albanese to remain silent when the Archbishop of Canterbury invites “all who desire” among the congregation at Westminster Abbey to take the oath of allegiance to the king.
But Albanese said he would follow protocol by taking the oath, though his office did not respond when asked if Albanese intended to affirm or swear his allegiance to the king.
“I think as the Australian prime minister, people expect me to not come to the king’s coronation in order to create a controversy,” Albanese said.
Brought up as a Roman Catholic, Albanese opted against swearing an oath on a Bible a year ago when he was appointed prime minister by Governor-General David Hurley, who was then Australia’s representative of Queen Elizabeth II. He adopted the Inaugural Creed, a secular alternative to oaths that make no reference to a god or monarch.
Albanese’s diverse Australian delegation to attend the coronation included Hurley and the governors of all six of his states. The delegation is headed by Australian women’s football star Sam Kerr, who currently plays for London club Chelsea. Pioneering post-punk musician Nick Cave. and comedian Adam Hills.
As a coronation gift, the Australian government will donate her A$10,000 (US$6,700) to charities that protect the endangered Australian bird, the parrot.
Albanese initially denied holding a referendum to replace the British monarch with the Australian president during his three-year term. He is prioritizing a referendum this year to recognize Indigenous Australians in the constitution and create a representative body to advise parliament on Indigenous matters.
The Albanians have appointed a minister in charge of the republic, but have not given a time frame as to when Australians can vote on such a constitutional amendment.