Prince Charles is a Republican

March 8th, 2005 at 10:51 am by David Farrar

No I am not making this up. Go read the column by Chris Laidlaw where he discusses NZ republicanism with Prince Charles, and the Prince of Wales says:

“Well, to be frank, I think it would come as a great relief to all of us,” said Charles. “It would remove the awful ambiguity we have at the moment. It seems to me that it would be a lot easier for everybody if you all had your own completely independent head of state.

“I certainly never want to be dragged into any constitutional disputes in New Zealand or anywhere else. I simply can’t imagine how difficult it would be to be faced with having to dismiss a New Zealand Prime Minister.”

When you have the man in line to be the next King of New Zealand, saying he thinks it would be far better for us to have an independent head of state, I think that we should listen. Why make someone our King who does not want to be?

I commend His Royal Highness for his perceptive insight.

UPDATE: Press Release from the Republican Movement here.

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16 Responses to “Prince Charles is a Republican”

  1. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Humm… I have to congratulate Laidlaw on his apparently perfect recall of a conversation that happened seven years ago.

    Anyhow, I still think it’s dunb to hang a republican argument on Charles’ private life; just as it’s stupid to say Helen Clark shouldn’t be Prime Minister because you don’t like her motivations for marrying, or presume she’s a lesbian. Or Don Brash is unfit to be Prime Minister because he comes across as something of an oddball in Goldsmith’s biography, had an extra-marital affar and later married his mistress.

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  2. David Farrar () says:

    I think you are missing the point Craig. This is not about what one thinks of Prince Charles’ private life, but the fact he has said he supports NZ becomign a Republic.

    This is equivalent to Helen Clark saying she thinks it would be better if National won the next election.

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  3. Simon () says:

    I am all for a small government and it doesn’t get any smaller than Charles. Charles wants to be King of NZ he just doesn’t know it yet.

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  4. EDH () says:

    Fortunately he won’t be given a say as to whether he wants to be King or not. After duty is always more important than one’s private opinion.

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  5. Ordinary Kiwi on Struggle Street () says:

    EDH: you’re right. Abdication aside, Charlie doesn’t have any say over whether he is king of New Zealand or not. But what depresses the hell out of me is that we, his future royal subjects, don’t have a say either. We’re all grown ups — surely we can select our own head of state? Even Palestinians have been able to elect their own president and they don’t even have a state yet!

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  6. W () says:

    Prince Charles’ comments are not surprising. One thing Michael King made clear in his History of New Zealand, is England’s continuing attempts to extricate itself from New Zealand politics. Immediately following World War II, when England was trying to get out of Empire-building to focus on its own rebuilding, it was made clear that we should look after ourselves. However, New Zealand was reluctant to let go.

    Sixty years later, we’re still humming the same tune…

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  7. Lewis () says:

    W – There was good reason for that – i.e. NZ was Britain’s farm. Of course, your comment that the UK wanted out of its Empire is quite right; in fact our history is not one of NZ cutting the apron strings, it is one of the UK pulling away, for its own reasons.

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  8. Craig Ranapia () says:

    DPF –

    First, I don’t mean to imply that Laidlaw fabricated the quotes attributed to Prince Charles. But how does Laidlaw’s recollections of what he describes as “being in effect a private conversation” held seven years ago settle the republican question one way or another?

    Charles doesn’t want to be King – he asks Tony Blair to table a simple act before the British Parliament to remove him from the succession and it’s done, as far as I’m aware.

    But surely, the quid pro quo is that the Republican debate is a matter of New Zealand’s internal politics that we should decide, for our own reasons. Perhaps I’m being hopelessly naive, but I hope what will be the most radical constitutional change of my life will be based on something a little more serious than the cocktail party chit-chat of Prince Charles

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  9. tim barclay () says:

    I think he would be glad to go but he does not want to undo the diligent work of the Queen in wishing us bon voyage. But I am confident that they will all wish us bon voyage if we finally grow up and become a Republic.

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  10. TheProphet () says:

    Can anyone help me with the main ramifications of NZ becoming a republic?. I’ve thought of some but would like some extra brainpower to try to get a full picture.
    Thanks
    Allah protect us.

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  11. Simon () says:

    Grow up and be a republic? You mean after a bunch of old people die and Oz becomes a republic. It is the republican movement that needs to grow up.

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  12. Lewis () says:

    The Prophet – check out the RM website: http://www.republic.org.nz
    Or my own website:
    http://www.holdenrepublic.org.nz/

    Craig – fair comment, although while the impact of republicanism would legally be radical, the actual effect on the average NZer on the street would probably be much less than that of MMP. It of course depends on the model we choose.

    Simon – How does the Republican Movement need to grow up?

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  13. Mark () says:

    I believe that it is a given that NZ will become a republic and I don’t have any problem with that as it’s time to move on. What I do have a problem with is the sheer rudeness of these protesters towards a man who is obviously earnest and polite. These protesters (the bare boobs, signs about “Death to the Monarchy” etc) are just making fools of themselves and displaying utter irnorance in their simplistic slogans. Why these white people are whinging about “colonialism” I have no idea and I assume that they have even less idea where they originate from. The level headed republicans in NZ must be extremely embarrassed about these nobheads.

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  14. David Farrar () says:

    Embarrassment is an under-statement. They were pathethic.

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  15. Lewis () says:

    It’s fair to say that these drop-kicks don’t help the Republican Movement one bit – they’re simply an unnecessary distraction from the real issues. And yes, they are pathetic

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  16. David Lackey () says:

    I entirely agree that ad hominen rudeness has no place in the debate. However in today’s Guardian-
    http://www.guardian.co.uk – Ros Coward puts an intriguing argument against the separating of constitutional matters from the ‘Soap Opera’.

    She makes the case that, in doing so, Republicans are playing the same game as the Monarchists.

    “The power of Myth is strong” she writes “…and Republicans need to engage with what monarchy actually means to people rather than hold an abstract debate that excites no one. The fiasco around the wedding…….(creates) an opportunity to inflict some damage on an anachronistic institution”.

    With UK republicanism on a roll, NZ and Australia may well face off for the privilege of being the last constitutional monarchy in what was the British Empire.

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