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King's Australia visit push rekindles republic debate

King Charles and Queen Camilla are likely to become the first ruling monarchs to visit Australia in more than a decade when they arrive later this year.



Republicans and monarchists are mobilising in preparation for a visit to Australia by King Charles and Queen Camilla.


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said planning had started for King Charles' first visit to Australia since taking the throne, despite the monarch scaling back on engagements after his cancer diagnosis.


Australian Republican Movement chief executive Isaac Jeffrey said he had written to the King seeking a meeting should he visit later this year.


"It's been 13 years since a sitting head of state has visited Australia,'' he said.

"That's over a decade since the King or Queen of Australia has ventured down here.


"They're busy advocating for the United Kingdom and their own people.


We need our own local head of state to do the same for us: stand up for Australia and promote our interests on the world stage."


Assistant Minister for the Republic Matt Thistlethwaite said the King would receive a warm welcome.


"I've always said that the issue of Australia becoming a republic has got nothing to do with the royal family," he told Sky News.


"I welcome the King coming to Australia. He's our head of state."


Australian Monarchist League chair Phillip Benwell also welcomed news of the King's likely visit.


"We are very hopeful that His Majesty's cancer treatment will be successful and that he will be well enough to visit Australia, a country in which he was partially educated and has always had a great fondness for," he said.

King Charles' last visit to Australia in 2018 included time in the Northern Territory.


"We earnestly trust that the premiers will respond positively to the prime minister's call and put forward a constructive case for their majesties to visit their state."


Mr Albanese said the government was talking to states and territories about the royal visit.  


"The King has shown his compassion for Australians affected by recent natural disasters, just as Australians have shown compassion and support for the King following his cancer diagnosis," he said.


"The King, Queen and members of the Royal Family are always welcome in Australia."


Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said the King had a long connection with Australia, extending from his time attending Geelong Grammar.


"There is an affection for King Charles, I know King Charles has a deep affection for Australia," he told ABC TV on Monday.


"A royal visit by King Charles and Queen Camilla later in the year would be a really, really tremendous and popular event and I do think that Australians would very much welcome seeing King Charles in our country."

Charles and Camilla at Broadbeach, Queensland, during their last Australian tour.


The visit by the King and Queen would be the first trip to Australia by a reigning monarch since 2011 - when Queen Elizabeth II travelled to Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).


King Charles has made 15 visits to Australia, his last in 2018 to open the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and to visit parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory.


The King has previously travelled to every state and territory and it's expected all jurisdictions will make requests for the monarch to visit them.


While a date has yet to be set, the visit is expected to coincide with CHOGM, which is being held in October in Samoa.


NSW Premier Chris Minns said Sydney was an obvious choice for the King to stop at.


"I mean, this is one of the greatest cities on earth and if you don't come to Sydney then no one will believe that you came to Australia," he told Seven's Sunrise program.


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