Bombshell interview sways few Aussies to republican cause


Republican campaigners say the Harry and Meghan interview shows the royal family is dysfunctional and has bolstered their cause, but Daily Telegraph readers disagree.

The Daily Telegraph revealed on Wednesday NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean backed a push for booting the crown's rule over Australia, approaching former PMs and planning a fundraiser in April.

Australian Republican Movement chair Peter FitzSimons welcomed the NSW minister's support following the Sussexes' bombshell interview.


"Minister Kean is one of our biggest supporters … it's wonderful to see parliamentarians of all persuasions pushing for this truly Australian cause," Mr Fitzsimons said.

"It reflects the growing support for a republic in the community and the view of many that it's time."

Mr Fitzsimons said the interview "played" in pro-republicans' favour, with Meghan and Harry's claims proving Britain's monarchy was no longer fit to oversee Australia.

"The Royal Family has always been regarded as the Rock of Gibraltar for the Constitutional Monarchies of the Commonwealth, stability personified," he said.

"However, we see dysfunction and extreme instability. The heir apparent to be Australian sovereign doesn't return the calls of his son, and is on a very short list of possible racists in the Royal Family. This is who you want to be our king?"


Australian Republican Movement chair Peter FitzSimons. Picture: Mark Wilson
Australian Republican Movement chair Peter FitzSimons. Picture: Mark Wilson

But a poll on The Daily Telegraph website revealed 71 per cent of respondents from more than 1400 votes were happy to stay in the Commonwealth, as of Thursday morning.

"The Republican movement keeps ducking the hard work of developing a working constitutional model that Australian's can have confidence in. They keep trying to con us into making a decision without all the facts," Telegraph reader Gregory wrote.

Another reader Lynette referred to the failed 1999 republic referendum.

"It didn't get up last time the public is not as stupid as they would like us believe," she wrote.

On the streets, Sydneysiders were divided.



Hammondville resident Andrew Smith said he was a firm "no" on the idea of an Australian republic.

"We've already had a referendum about it, which was no, and that's the way it should stay," Mr Smith said.

"Why change it when it's worked for hundreds of years?"

Yet 20-year-old law student Brooke Ghannoum, from Voyager Point, was all for booting the royals, and said watching Harry and Meghan's interview "reaffirmed" her views.

"I don't like the royal family, I think they're useless nowadays so go for it, get rid of them," Ms Ghannoum said.

"Now (the interview) has come out it just proves now is a good time to cut ties."

At Bondi on Wednesday, Ben Graves, 24, from Brisbane supported the republic movement, calling the monarchy "outdated".

"I'm originally from the UK and I don't really like the royals anyway," Mr Graves said.

"After watching the interview I probably agree more with Meghan and Harry and I can sort of see why they left … abolish the monarchy is my sort of take on it, times have changed."

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she hasn't had time to watch Harry and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey or think about whether allegations raised in the interview strengthens calls for Australia to become a republic.


Originally published as Bombshell interview sways few to republican cause

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