How the relationship between Australia and the Queen has changed over time

The Queen became the first reigning monarch of Australia to visit the nation in 1953 – but the relationship between Queen and country changed over the following six decades.

The five-dollar note and all denominations of coin feature the portrait of the Queen, her birthday is a public holiday across all states and territories, and many of the country’s institutions – the Air Force, Navy and Mint – carry the prefix Royal.

But there is a thread of republicanism which runs through the country.

The left-wing Labour party has pushed for a vote on the issue, while former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is also sympathetic to the republican cause.

A referendum has already been held on the issue but has done little to settle the argument.

The Yes campaign – spearheaded by Mr Turnbull – yielded 45.1% of the vote in 1999, with the winning No campaign managing to bring together both those who were not fond of change and those who thought the proposed change did not go far enough.

Politics/ Australia Vote
Politics/ Australia Vote

A statement from the Queen following the vote read: “I respect and accept this result.

“My family and I would, of course, have retained our deep affection for Australia and Australians everywhere, whatever the outcome.”

Coinciding with Charles’s visit to the Gold Coast in April, a Newspoll survey for the Australian newspaper found that one in two Australians back the republican movement.

A total of 41% of 1,639 people asked over four days in April said they would be against scrapping the monarchy and becoming a republic.

This compared to 34% 19 years ago and 38% in August 2017.

Just days before the Prince of Wales arrived in Brisbane for his first official engagement, former prime minister Paul Keating claimed Charles would support Australia cutting ties with the monarchy and becoming a republic.

Mr Keating told the Sunday Times: “I have no doubt he believes Australia should be free of the British monarchy and that it should make its own way in the world.”