Why Australia will be in limbo if King Charles gets too sick to rule

King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer – but what does that mean for Australia?

This morning an official release from Buckingham Palace said while he “remains wholly positive about his treatment”, he will be stepping away from his public-facing duties.

Despite the high hopes for the monarch’s future health, the situation has raised concerns over Australia’s lack of regency laws – which cover what happens if the reigning monarch becomes incapacitated. 

On today’s afternoon episode of The Briefing, Sacha Barbour Gatt speaks with former Independent Senator Rex Patrick to find out the impacts of our lack of regency laws and what it could mean in the unfortunate event that Charles could no longer rule.

“If for some reason King Charles becomes incapacitated, the UK have a mechanism by which they can appoint Prince William to be the regent, to act as the monarch. And indeed, Canada and New Zealand would have laws in place that would then reflect the choices that have been made in the UK. We have nothing, and that leaves us legally without a monarch,” Mr Patrick explained. 

“If the monarch is incapacitated and we don’t have a regent, it leaves us in an awful position. This issue is significant enough that laws have been passed in the UK, in New Zealand, in Canada, we just haven’t got around to it here.

“This is not an important thing until it’s important. And hopefully, it doesn’t arise, but King Charles’s prognosis, sadly, with cancer, you know, draws our attention to this.”

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