The British monarch is the head of state for sixteen different countries around the world, but which countries could become republics within the next few decades?
1. New Zealand
Following New Zealand’s recent election, popular Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is set to become the country’s 40th prime minister. Ardern is an open supporter of a New Zealand republic, recently telling the Times:
“I am a republican but you will find there are people in New Zealand who aren’t actively pursuing that change.”
Now that Ardern is in power, could New Zealand make moves to become a republic? Last year, a poll found that 59% of New Zealand voters wanted their country to become a republic, as reported by Stuff. With such levels of support to end the monarchy, a change in the coming years is a strong possibility.
New Zealand’s neighbour has flirted with republicanism before. In a 1999 referendum, the country voted 55% - 45% to keep the Queen as head of state. Furthermore, the current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull supports a republic as does the opposition Labor Party.
However, a 2016 research paper indicates that support for the monarchy has grown in recent years.
Last year, an Ipsos poll for Global News found that 53% of Canadians wanted their country to become a republic once the Queen passes away, significantly ahead of those who disagreed. Other polls have shown support for ditching the monarchy in recent years.
Could Canada be next?
4. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
This small pacific nation is the most recent country to have held a vote on ditching the monarchy. In 2009, the state voted 55% to 45% in favour of retaining the monarchy. With such a close result occurring less than a decade ago, a new vote could see the country becoming a republic in the coming years.
This tiny country has also held a referendum on abolishing the monarchy – two in fact. In 1986, 95% voted to keep the monarchy, well ahead of the 5% who voted for a republic. Then in 2008, the country held another vote. This time, 65% voted for the status-quo while 35% voted for change. There is still a long to abolish the monarchy in Tuvalu, but things are moving in the right direction for republicans.
6. The United Kingdom
If the monarchy does retreat, surely the UK will be the last country to let it go. Support for a British republic is low, although campaign-group Republic wants to see an end to that. In terms of political support, the Green Party favour republicanism, as does Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. A Corbyn premiership is unlikely to lead to Britain becoming a republic in the near future, but it could stimulate debate over the issue when the time comes.
That said, a 2011 YouGov poll put support for a republic on just 13% once the Queen dies.
Overall, it looks highly unlikely that any of these countries will ditch the monarchy while the Queen is still alive. There is certainly support for these countries to become republics, but the Queen’s death and the rise of King Charles will probably trigger debates on the issue across the globe.
Could Britain’s monarchical dominance soon be coming to an end?