Queen dead: Peter Fitzsimons calls for Australian republic

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A mere 24 minutes after the death of Queen Elizabeth II was announced, the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) said it was time to cut ties to the British monarchy and become an independent nation.

Buckingham Palace issued a statement informing the public of the death of Britain‘s longest reigning monarch at 4.04am on Friday morning Australian time.

Queen Elizabeth II died at 96 in her castle at Balmoral after presiding over the Commonwealth for more than seven decades.

Less than half an hour after the notice from the Palace, the ARM issued its own statement expressing its condolences and acknowledging the Queen’s “significant contribution” to Australia.

ARM chair Peter FitzSimons said the country had flourished under her reign and said it was “unlikely we will ever see a Monarch as respected or admired by the Australian people again”.

The organisation suggested the death of the beloved monarch was the time to renew calls for Australian independence, which it says the Queen herself supported.

“The Queen backed the right of Australians to become a fully independent nation during the referendum on an Australian republic in 1999, saying that she has ‘always made it clear that the future of the Monarchy in Australia is an issue for the Australian people and them alone to decide’,” the statement read.

The ARM said Queen Elizabeth II had demonstrated her respect for the self determination of Australians by eliminating opportunities for British intervention in the government.

Republicans expect the death of the monarch will result in a renewed surge of interest in the movement after support has steadily waned since the 1999 referendum was defeated.

However, Australian monarchists believe renewed republican efforts will face the same fate.

Not only was the referendum for constitutional independence defeated in 1999, it also failed to win a majority of support in any state or territory except the ACT.

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy national convener David Flint told DailyMail the republican movement had “absolutely no hope” of effecting change.

“Whatever chance they had is gone. I don‘t think they will get a second chance,” he told the publication.

The ARM statement pushing for independence was so quick that it beat a statement from Anthony Albanese by almost 20 minutes.

Speaking about the push for Australia to become a republic, the Australian leader said it was not the time for the discussion.

“Look, I think today is a day to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, to think about her life, and give thanks and I think that is the focus of today,” the Prime Minister said.

“(It’s) certainly not a day for politics.“

Former prime minister Scott Morrison echoed his rival’s sentiment and said it was not the time to reflect on questions of national independence.

“I think it is a time for mourning, for thanksgiving, and for honour and respect, both certainly to Her Majesty, but also I think to the monarchy,” he said.

“It‘s the institution of the monarchy which has provided such stability to so many countries, including Australia, for so, so long.”

Flags have been lowered to half-mast around the nation to mourn the Queen’s death and there will be a gun salute at Parliament House in Canberra to mark each year of her life.

Mr Albanese and Governor-General David Hurley will travel to London to meet with King Charles III in the next few days.

Originally published as Calls for Australia to cut ties with monarchy after death of Queen Elizabeth II

Read related topics:Queen Elizabeth

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