Even a visit from King Charles can’t stop republic referendum, says Malcolm Turnbull

In today’s episode of The Briefing, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has predicted Australia could become a republic as early as 2026. 

Speaking with host Sasha Barbor-Gatt, Mr Turnbull, chair of the Australian Republican Movement from 1993 to 2000 said even a visit from King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla won’t get in the way of another referendum.

There is increasing speculation that King Charles will visit Australia in late 2024 with his wife. This would be the pair’s first visit since the King’s coronation last year.

Sacha Barbour Gatt sat down with former PM Malcolm Turnbull, who served as chairman of the Australian Republican Movement from 1993 to 2000,  to find out what the impact of the visit will have and how soon he thinks we could become a republic.

Mr Turnbull said the couple were “well-regarded” and believed the Australian public didn’t hold any personal feelings against them.

“The issue of the republic in Australia is not really whether you like or dislike a particular member of the royal family. It’s whether it makes sense for them to be the head of state of Australia. And one thing you can say is Charles and Camilla, charming people though they are, is that they’re both very English, and they’re not Australian.”

He said that a referendum could come as soon as 2026.

Charles and Camilla last came in April 2018 to open the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – back then they were the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall. 

 A YouGov poll (September) found 32 per cent want the country to transition to a republic as soon as possible, up 12 percentage points on a similar poll last year. 35% want to remain a monarchy The same poll found 54 per cent have a generally positive view of the royals with Prince William, the next in line to the throne and with 69% approval rating. 

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