The Queen is 'deeply respected' in Australia, says country's former PM Kevin Rudd

23 June 2022, 19:36

The Queen remains popular in Australia, Kevin Rudd has said.
The Queen remains popular in Australia, Kevin Rudd has said. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

No one else will be as popular as the Queen in Australia, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told LBC.

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Speaking during LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, Mr Rudd said the Queen was "deeply respected" by Australians, but suggested once she is no longer on the throne there could be a referendum on the cards.

He told Andrew: "In Australia, there's a huge amount of affection for the Queen - no one wants to upset your nanna - and most of us in politics have met the Queen.

"She's a fine leader and a fine lady - deeply respected in Australia.

"What happens beyond her Britannic Majesty I'm not sure. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been very careful about when a further referendum will be taken of the Australian people.

"But my own judgement is that the Australian people may not be interested in moving to a republic until her majesty is no longer on the throne.

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When asked about Prince Charles' popularity in the country, Mr Rudd explained: "I don't think anyone could be as popular as the Queen.

"One of our number is now the Princess royal of Denmark - Princess Mary - she'll be the Queen of Denmark before long but Queen Elizabeth II has a much deeper affection in the hearts and minds of Australians.

"Obviously, if and when there is a change to a new monarch, there'll be a different set of feelings about that.

"I think there's a deep respect for Prince Charles and in his views on the environment and sustainability - that has actually resonated in Australia over time."

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It comes as the republicans have returned to power in Australia after a recent election, with them having previously called a referendum in 1999, hoping to make the country a republic.

Mr Rudd said the results at the time were "quite decisive" with a 60-40 outcome.