His ‘Rights’ Challenged
After the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, her eldest son, Prince Charles, has traditionally been sworn in as the King of Britain. However, most of the Commonwealth of Nations are not ready to accept the authority of King Charles III. Fourteen Commonwealth Nations have triggered a debate about whether the British Royal Family has any relevance in the 21st Century. Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, The Bahamas, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Saint Kitts and Nevis have raised objections to accept the authority of a King from the foreign lands.
Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the State, to be known as a democratic nation in 2021. Similarly, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Jamaica, too, want to become Republics. The people of these countries are of the opinion that the Monarchy should be abolished immediately, as per the Constitutional Norms. Recently, a Jamaican daily strongly called for the abolition of the Monarchy. A poll, held earlier in 2022, found that more than half of Jamaicans did not want a British Monarch as their Head of State.
Although the Australian Parliament was suspended for 15 days following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the House would hold a debate on whether Australia should become a Republic. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Norman Albanese reportedly took necessary steps in this regard in the month of June 2022. According to experts, neighbouring New Zealand, too, could follow the path of Australia.
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Alfonso Browne, has hinted that a referendum will be held within three years to make the country a Republic. Belize, too, has announced the revision of the Constitution in near future. A top Fijian leader has also come out against the British Monarchy, while the people of Vanuatu have raised their voice against the authority of the British Royal Family.
It is to be noted that King Charles III has always been not-very-popular among the Britons. Nearly half of Britons wanted him to step aside, and make way for (his elder son) Prince William to become the King, even before the demise of Queen Elizabeth II. He has been a controversial figure in National Politics, as well as World Politics, mainly because of his irresponsible comments and lifestyle. The Sunday Times reported in June 2022 that King Charles III had accepted EUR 3 million from Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, as donations to his charitable fund between 2011 and 2015. The new British monarch had also accepted a suitcase full of cash, totalling EUR 1 million, and later, it came to light that he had actually received the money from two half-brothers of slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
During the infamous Panorama interview telecast in 1995, Princess Diana had revealed personal details about her marriage, saying: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” There, she had referred to Charles rekindling his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, now his Queen.
Furthermore, King Charles III had reportedly made an attempt to interfere in the affairs of the British Government. It must be mentioned that the Monarchy in Britain is Constitutional, and the Royal Family is expected to not influence political opinion in the country.
Hence, it is quite natural that the Commonwealth of Nations would challenge his authority.
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