London: Hollywood actor and singer Hugh Jackman says he thinks it is inevitable that Australians will vote to become a republic in the near future.
The Tony award-winning Australian made a rare intervention into politics on Sunday, saying he had “absolutely no ill will” against the new king, but that breaking away from the British monarchy seemed like a “natural part of an evolution of a country”.
Hugh Jackman has said he believes it is “inevitable” that Australia will become a republic.Credit:Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Jackson, 54, told the BBC’s flagship Sunday Morning program he held dual-British and Australian citizenship and that he had grown up in a household that celebrated the royals.
“I think Australia will become Republican at some point. It feels natural,” he said. “It feels like something that is, I would guess inevitable, and I guess would be a natural part of an evolution of a country. You know?”
The star of the X Men franchise and The Greatest Showman grew up in Sydney and is the son of “Ten Pound Poms” who came from England to Australia in 1967 as part of a hugely successful immigration scheme.
Outlining his family’s affection towards the royal family, he added: “My father made us stop doing whatever we could in 1981 to watch the wedding of Lady Di and Prince Charles.”
“We had Champagne… there was no bunting at our house but if my dad could have found it there would have been.“
He said despite believing that Australia would become a republic, the 54-year-old said he appreciated and admired the work of the royal family.
“I’ve met the Queen on several occasions, the Queen Mother and Prince Charles… and I see and feel a real genuine desire to be of service to the public,” he said.
Advocates for a republic have expressed hope Labor would commit to a republic referendum in the next term of parliament if it wins the next election, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has made no promise on the timing or the wording of such a plan.
In 1999 Australians narrowly voted against becoming a republic, following disagreement over plans for MPs, not the public, to choose the Queen’s replacement. Almost 55 per cent of voters opposed breaking constitutional ties with Britain.
After winning the election last May, Albanese created an assistant minister for the republic and has also described the nation becoming a republic as “inevitable”.
However, in September, shortly after the Queen died aged 96, he defended King Charles’s position as the new head of state, adding that he has a “responsibility to defend” his role as Australia’s leader.
In October, former Australian prime minister Paul Keating suggested that the King would renounce his sovereignty over the country because the royal family were content for it to become a republic. Keating, an ardent republican, said he believed the royal family would have been “glad” had Australians voted to become a republic in the referendum held in 1999.
“I think the royal family would have been so glad for the referendum to have passed, to be honest,” Keating said at a University of Sydney event. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if King Charles III, the King of Australia, doesn’t volunteer… to renounce his claim on Australia.”
Polling conducted for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age last month found Australians had increased their support for a republic at a time of intense publicity over Prince Harry and his falling out with the royal family, with some voters saying his revelations have influenced their shift towards breaking ties with the monarchy.
Support for the republic increased from 36 to 39 per cent among eligible voters over the four months since the death of Queen Elizabeth, while the number of voters against the change fell from 37 to 31 per cent.
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