Australia further than ever from becoming a republic with well under half supporting ditching the monarch as millions tune in to the Queen’s funeral
Fewer than half of Australians believe the country should become a republic, as about four million of them tuned in to watch Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral service.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is on his way back to Australia having joined more than 2000 people in Westminster Abbey for the state funeral, and related events.
While Mr Albanese has been reluctant to talk about an Australian republic out of respect for the Queen, a Guardian Essential poll published on Tuesday found 43 per cent support for the constitutional change.
The poll showed a 50-50 split over whether King Charles III (pictured with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday) should be Australia’s head of state
There was also a 50-50 split over whether King Charles III should be Australia’s head of state.
Backing for a republic is higher for men (52 per cent) than women (35 per cent).
Australians will get their own chance to pay tribute to the Queen with a public holiday on Thursday for the national day of remembrance, followed by a parliamentary condolence motion on Friday.
A national memorial service at Parliament House in Canberra involving federal, state and territory leaders and justices of the High Court will be the key event on the public holiday.
On Monday night Australian time, the Queen’s body was taken from London’s Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service attended by what has been described as one of the largest gatherings of world leaders.
Four million Australians tuned in to the Queen’s funeral on Monday night (pictured, the Queen’s coffin heads towards Wellington Arch in London on Monday)
On Monday, the Queen’s body was taken from London’s Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service attended by what has been described as one of the largest gatherings of world leaders (pictured)
Queen Elizabeth was one of the longest-reigning monarch in world history – an achievement recognised by the 500 monarchs, heads of state and other leaders who attended the service seeped in tradition.
A committal service was held at St George’s Chapel at Windsor following the funeral before the Queen was buried in a private ceremony alongside her husband Philip, who died last year aged 99.
She was laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where her father, mother and sister are also buried.
In Sydney, mourners filled the pews at St Andrew’s Cathedral to watch a live screening of the funeral following a solemn choral service and 45 minutes of bells ringing.
Assistant minister to the prime minister Patrick Gorman said Australia’s connection with Britain ran deep and the unity expressed following the Queen’s death served as a reminder of those ties.
‘What we will see on Thursday when we have the memorial service is more examination and reflection on those deep ties that Queen Elizabeth II had with Australia,’ he told the ABC on Tuesday.
‘I was definitely surprised at how emotional I felt watching the service.’
Assistant Minister to the prime minister Patrick Gorman said on Tuesday (pictured, the Prince of Wales, Duke of Sussex and King Charles III walk down Central London at the funeral on Monday)
Backing for a republic is higher for men (52 per cent) than women (35 per cent), according to a poll (pictured, King Charles with Mr Albanese in Buckingham Palace on the weekend)
Mr Gorman said both republicans and monarchists had been able to unite in their admiration for the Queen’s lifetime of service while acknowledging some in the community, such as Indigenous Australians, might view the monarchy in a darker light.
‘It’s really important those perspectives are shared,’ he said.
‘The history of Australia, as we know, didn’t start in 1788 and indeed not all of our history is history of which we can stand proud today.’
Protocols set in place dictate that the Australian day of mourning will be held the day after the prime minister and governor-general return from the UK.