Australia’s Prime Minister backs Queen to remain as head of state
AUSTRALIA’S PRIME Minister has voiced his strong support for maintaining the Queen as the country’s head of state, declaring a picture of her is “back up in the PM’s office”.
Scott Morrison said he has a “lot of respect for the constitutional monarchy”, ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s arrival on their first major overseas tour as a royal couple.
Mr Morrison, who is nicknamed “ScoMo” in his home country, is due to accompany Harry when he climbs Sydney Harbour Bridge to raise the flag of his Invictus Games.
The role of the Queen as Australia’s head of state and the country’s relationship with Britain are a continuous source of vigorous debate there.
The former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who once campaigned for the Australian Republic Movement, is reported to have removed a portrait of the Queen from his office when he took over from the avowed monarchist Tony Abbott in 2015.
Mr Morrison replaced Mr Turnbull after he was deposed in a party coup in August.
“It was one of the things Malcolm and I disagreed on, but look, I respect how all Australians feel on this,” Mr Morrison said on TV.
“It’s not something I go around beating my chest about. It’s just I’ve got a lot of respect for the constitutional monarchy, and if it ain’t broke, I don’t see the need to fix it.
“But I respect all Australians’ views on that and I’m looking forward to seeing (Harry and Meghan).”
Mr Morrison said he expects Harry will summit the Harbour Bridge “a bit quicker” than he will, adding: “You’ll see me huffing and panting at the top. It won’t be a good look.”
Harry and Meghan will land in Australia on Tuesday to begin a three-week tour of the region, which will include visits to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
Mr Morrison had previously said in a statement: “Their visit will be an opportunity to promote the incredible achievements of Invictus athletes from around the world, and showcase Australian programmes promoting youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts.”
SCOTT MORRISON: ‘It’s just I’ve got a lot of respect for the constitutional monarchy.’