If I am not wrong they once voted against being a republic country some years ago. I understand Australians and feel sympathy for them about that they are different from some other countries which they were under British monarchy like India. They have many similarities with their famous grandmother and do not feel they have to be an independent republic to feel a full respect and confidence as an Australian citizen. But it is only a guess on ground of sociology not the reality behind this decision.

What is their main reason to refuse independence and is it the only one?

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    This is an interesting question. Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 17:19
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    Australians have not "refused independence". Australia is entirely independent of any other country in all practical ways. Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 4:01
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    @DJClayworth, yep, Australia is independent until our interests contradict with the US... But it's a different topic.
    – Alex Klaus
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 0:25
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    The referendum didn't ask about the goal of being a republic: it asked about moving to a particular republican model. That model sucked. It isn't that the existing constitutional monarchy is good it is that all the alternative models proposed so far are worse. Republicans and constitutional reformers in the UK have the same problem: no alternative to the monarchy (or the House of Lords) has yet looked better.
    – matt_black
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 14:04
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    To build on @DJClayworth's point, while the same person is both the Queen of the UK and the Queen of Australia (as well as the Queen of 14 other countries), these are constitutionally separate roles. The Commonwealth Realms are sovereign, independent countries. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_realm
    – PersonX
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 15:10

6 Answers 6


This is a pretty good article summarizing the reasons for monarchist support in Australia. Allow me to pull out some quotes:

  • The Royal family do lots of work for charity, and their high profile means they can bring media attention to important issues. For a lot of people having a Royal family is fun, people like reading about them in magazines, and in that way they're like celebrities.

  • Some people see the Royal family and the links to Britain, as an important part of Australia's heritage. The monarchy has served Australia well for a long time and there's the old saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it."

  • Even though [the Royal Family] enjoy a lavish lifestyle, it doesn't cost Australians a cent. The only time we ever pay for the Royals is when they come over here.

  • The monarchy has the ability to remove a government if it's abusing its power and that way they're like an extra safety net for our democracy.

Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy should also provide you with some arguments in favour of a Monarch.

  • The Westminster system has been exported to many countries and has had an unrivalled success, unlike the constitutional models of the to two oldest ( politicians') republics, the USA and Switzerland.

  • “Some of us believe that Australia is already a form of republic under the Crown: a "crowned republic". Australia now enjoys all the desirable features of a republican government and a constitutional monarchy without any disadvantages of either system. Agitation for change is unnecessary, irrelevant, divisive and distracting.”

  • Republicanism would be more expensive than the current system, and even the debate about it is extremely expensive.

Pervading the second article (and expressed in the phrase 'politicians republic') is the idea that if you elect a head of state, you invariably get a politician as head of state. The article believes this would be worse than a monarch.

  • This answer explains why monarchists voted against a republic but not why most swing voters and republicans voted against the models offered. Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 22:04
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    "The Westminster system has been exported to many countries and has had an unrivalled success" .... um what? Proof? Facts? Under what grounds?
    – Jose Luis
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 9:09
  • Australia could leave the monarchy and keep the same system, the prime minister already appoints the governor general. Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 11:56
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    The monarchy has the ability to remove a government if it's abusing its power and that way they're like an extra safety net for our democracy. Man, that makes me wish the U.S. of A. were still a British Colony :-)
    – Jens
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 21:08
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    @Jens if the queen could, she would not remove Trump. He has no my abused his power at all - he was democratically elected. If he’s broken the law either it will be revealed and he’ll be impeached or it will stay hidden. In either case, there’s nothing more for a monarch to do.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 23:54

Your understanding is deeply incorrect.

Australia has had a separate access to the Crown since 1901, when the unique relationship between the Crown and the Constitution of Australia was formed. This relationship was furthered by the acceptance of the Statute of Westminster in 1942 and the Australia Acts in 1986.

Currently Australia is governed by the Crowns' representative, as appointed strictly on the advice of the Prime Minister. The relevant Crown is the Queen of Australia. Australia is functionally independent in law, but not in economy, from the United Kingdom.

Australians have not sought independence through a republic because they achieved independence in 1986. Australians have not sought a republic because of their famous constitutional conservatism in referenda. This constitutional conservatism covers positions from pro-Monarchy positions through to vehement opposition to elected executives. Australia's recent experience with interventionist governors general is notorious, and condemned by a great deal of the country.

  • It is not my understanding! It is according to Australian sources. Calm down! :) Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 9:39
  • The background to contemporary Australian constitutional debates is relatively straightforward, and well documented online: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_history_of_Australia Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 9:43
  • You also will want to edit your question, as you say, "If I am not wrong…. I understand Australians…." Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 10:02

It's important to remember that the question asked in the 1999 Referendum was whether we approved of the proposed republican model and not whether we wanted to become a republic or not. Even Queen Elizabeth understood that the result of that referendum was voting against the Turnbull/Howard model, which was only selected at the Constitutional Convention as a result of a dirty trick (redefining quorum when a section of the republicans walked out in protest, believing quorum could not be reached without them present) by the Monarchists, and not a vote against a republic.

If I recall correctly Phil Cleary was one of those who walked out and since he was the MP in my electorate (Wills - he held it between Bob Hawke and the current MP) sometime back I might (it's a big might) be able to track him down for clarification on this part. My own records were burned to CD and are in storage.

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    My recollection is that there was more than 50% support for a republic in general, but that voters would not support the specific model being proposed by the publicly vocal Monarchist Prime Minister John Howard, perceiving the proposed model to be intentionally flawed.
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 2:59

The only powers reserved to the governors general, and hence the monarch, are constitutional safeguards (which may or may not be applied correctly).

Since this role plus vague symbolism is about the only way that Australia could be considered "dependent" on Britain - most Australians are averse to giving these constitutional safeguards to politicians; who love to roll around in the partisan muck far too often for comfort.

A Constitutional Monarchy might seem odd at first but since the apron strings were completely severed in 1986, the model isn't any less democratic. A republic needs a better selling point than symbolism and no models put to referendum so far have guaranteed more democracy (e.g. MMP or Direct Democracy).


Reasons I believe we should have a monarchy in Australia:

  • Respect the history of Australia
  • Hold strong relations with the United Kingdom (a powerful, rich and influential country). This not only promises for strong military support in most cases but also allows us to utilise them in creating deals with their allies (To all those people who say the USA can protect us they have shafted us when we went to war with Indonesia the first time and when we almost went to war the second time with them as recently as 1999, you can't trust them). Also this makes it easier to trade with them and travelling and obtaining work in the UK is easier than what many other countries have to go through.
  • Assists with international relations with other countries as well. This occurs because someone who symbolises/ embodies the country can assist with negotiations without dictating if what the government did was alright. It is going to be hard to build diplomatic bridges if you are the ones who bombed the country previously for example and a monarch can be very useful in assisting in this area.
  • Monarchies also stop extremist individuals rising to power. People like Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and Hitler would have a far less chance at staying their countries leaders. This occurs because whilst monarchies do not hold any real power as explained in my next point they can technically dismiss Prime Ministers if there was a large public opinion, the government or if the UN for example was behind them due to 'incapacity to complete the necessary duties' (don't worry this does not mean they can just get rid of someone they don't like as constitutionally it must be as just stated due to 'incapacity') because they would see it as a very important thing that must be done and the way to get it done is through the monarchy. This however is an unlikely occurrence to happen anyway as it would put the country into unrest. However in the extreme case in which a Prime Minister is not serving his/her duties in a capable manner it would be a very beneficial act but as stated they would need proper support coming from mainly the public and the government itself but also the UN in certain cases. The British Monarchy is a Constitutional Monarchy meaning it is much like Japan's system in which they play a purely symbolic role and we activate just as if we were a complete republic. Meaning that Australia is in control of itself and is indeed independent. Not to mention Australia actually has two heads of state, with one of them obviously being the current leading British monarch and the other being the current Prime Minister proving that we are indeed in control of ourselves. (Arguably the biggest sign of this is that the Queen accepted and signed the bill for the UK to leave the European Union even though the UK's economic future would be largely at risk and it doesn't give her or the monarchy more power or influence by saying no to it, it may even weaken it as their country may possibly become weaker).
  • Since the British Monarchy as mentioned has no real power they can not abuse anyone. But this is also cemented in the 3 clauses left today in the Magna Carta created in 1215 protecting people against possible mistreatments by the monarchy. And the monarchy became officially a constitutional monarchy in 1688 - They Monarchy whilst having no real power has the most valued opinion you could say in diplomatic areas. This can be very useful as they can hear the complaints/ issues to do with the country and can put them forward to the current government or to world organisations with an unbiased view that benefits the people of the country. Making sure that the country is properly heard
  • They are a living embodiment of national pride and unity, whilst some would argue that it is the wrong national pride like mentioned before they represent Australia's past and so many people would say it is the correct national pride
  • In times of war they can inspire a nation. Imagine your country has been at war for a long time and people are ant to pull out or no one else wants to sign up for the army but they need to continue the war for the greater good. Sure a speech from the Prime Minister/ President could inspire some people but most people in war times blame the government for them not succeeding at this point in time also about half the country wouldn't have voted for them. Whilst a Monarchy does not experience these issues and since they are as mentioned before a living embodiment of the country they can inspire people through speeches or even visiting or fighting on the front line like most monarchies have done for the past 100 years. A prime minister/ President would almost never risk their lives going out on the battlefield as if they are killed then it can put the country into even more issues but a Monarchy can go without this issue.
  • Monarchies assist with a lot of charities and raise a lot of money and awareness. Whilst it is true that this is mainly in the UK thing such as the Invictus Games which is a kind of 'Military Veterans Olympic Games' are supported heavily by the monarchy especially through Prince Harry
  • They also represent the country and politicians at several occasions especially to do with speaking with the average person and opening several sites and speaking with foreign nationals what not. They actually do this almost everyday and this allows other politicians to continue their work.
  • The queen will also hold private audiences with foreign ambassadors and leaders from around the world closening their relationship

Other things to also be noted:

  • people think that the UK citizens have to pay money to the monarchy but in reality they don't. The monarchy created a deal with the British government years ago whereby the monarchy gives them the right to a large portion of their lands which are worth around 200 million pounds annually in exchange for 40 million pounds annually meaning that the monarchy actually makes the UK citizens taxes cheaper and essentially gifts the government 160 million pounds a year for free.
  • Every week the U.K. Prime minister and the head of the monarchy meet in private for an hour and discuss domestic and international problems and challenges and former Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that talking with someone outside the political process is "an incredibly useful exercise" and he has also said "it is of great benefit to me" with the reason being "because I find it helps sort out the problems in my own head about the things we need to do". This whole process makes the UK government more efficient and focused which not only assists them but assists their allies
  • The monarchy has several awards which are there to honour both the citizens of the UK and international citizens for their achievements and is something special and unique compared to other awards especially because you can change your name to include them in it. Without these awards from the monarchy many would go unrewarded or people would not care about the achievement especially in terms of awards that are granted due to achievement in a certain academic field, such as David Attenborough's knighthood for his contribution to life science. The giving of awards to other international citizens also assists in international relations.
  • Accumulate billions for the country due to tourism and TV shows and movies being made about them
  • They do far more than you could imagine in a societal and political sense. To get a full scope of just how important and time consuming their jobs are you should check out their website - royal.uk and even princeofwales.gov.uk
  • Without the monarchy the commonwealth might cease to exist as they were largely a part of founding it not to mention still have an on going role in the heads of government meeting between the commonwealth countries. Once again proving that the queen has a large influence and assists with global diplomacy

Overall what all these points mean is that if you want Australia (or even the UK) to become a republic you would actually be disadvantaging yourself and your country and be doing the wrong thing simply because you 'just want to have the title of being your own thing' even though you already are. Also the other options around the world are usually filled with massive holes and are absolutely detrimental to legitimate democracy including the American system. It should be noted that What we have now is a fully functioning democracy that does not and should not be changed. Saying this when it eventually comes around to Australia having another referendum Australians will most likely vote to leave because almost every politician is in favour of it (because they just want the title and are happy to dismantle a good thing for their own selfish gains) and this means that there will only be arguments in favour of abolishing it from the politicians which will massively influence the public.

  • I believe is not adequate to "Australians" consider editing? Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 13:53

I'd like to provide some interesting facts. They're her in no particular order:

  1. Most people who express an opinion on this subject have never read the Constitution. It's far easier to spruik about it than read it. You can even believe we have a democracy, which we don't.

  2. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 1900 is United Kingdom leg-islation, not Australian. We have no control over it while that's the case.

  3. Under the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 1900 sovereignty rests with the Queen and not with the Australian people. That's still true today after all the pretend 'changes' like The Australia Act of 1986.
  4. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ire-land is appointed to Her position as Queen by the U.K. Parliament. We have no say in what she is. The British passed an Australia Act to lend us--I say lend us, not give us--what we think we own in the Queen of Australia.
  5. Clause 8 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 1900 describes the Commonwealth of Australia as a colony. Nothing has really made that any different.
  6. Under ‘Australia’s’ Constitution all Australian politicians, judges, lawyers and many others must swear allegiance to a Sovereignty that has not existed for more than 86 years. It doesn't seem to bother anyone. least of all the ignorant people who've never read the Constitution.
  7. The ‘Australian’ Constitution – being a colonial Act of the U.K. Parliament – does not contain any elements of civil rights (such as; the right to private property, freedom of expression and freedom of movement, etc). We're little better than serfs.
  8. Under the ‘Australian’ Constitution the unelected Governor-General is com-mander in chief of the Australian military forces and that he holds this position because he is the Queen’s representative, not ours. We don't get so much as a look in.
  9. Australia is the only O.E.C.D. nation not to have a constitutionally enforceable Bill of Rights. That fact escapes the nongs yabbering away in defence of the autocratic Monarchy.
  10. In the years 1973, 1983, 1985 and 1986 the Federal Parliament of the Common-wealth of Australia consistently rejected Bills of Rights for the Australian people and consequently have denied Australian citizens even the fundamental human rights enshrined in the U.N.’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966; although the Australian government was a signatory to that Covenant. Now why would they do that if they were loyal to those who voted for them? Because the voters count for nothing. It's just that they don't seem to mind or they would have done something about it. Wouldn't they? No. That's not on the cards.
  11. Un-enacted British law (common law) continues to be applied in Australian courts even though those to whom it is applied are denied all entitlements under British law (and this situation can apply to tourists to Australia).

I just thought you ought to know the shit you're in so you won't get too excited about defending a Monarchy that the local politicians have used consistently since 1919 to undermine democracy in Australia. What happened in 1919? We lost 50,000 of our finest men in a war between two cousins, the Kings of England and the Kaiser (King) of Germany. That blood sacrifice earned us independence and sovereignty. Prime Minister Billy Hughes came back from the Versailles Conference to tell us the good news and the bulk of the Parliament in Melbourne dumped on him. They didn't want to cut the apron strings. They were cut alright, but from that day on our politicians have treasonously passed crap legislation to show that we were still connected to Britain. We weren't, or we wouldn't have been allowed to join the League of Nations or the UN. The truth of all this will come out in a real Republic Debate. That's why the Monarchists are still doing all they can to scuttle it. The Monarchists in Australia are traitors to the Australian people, but so far it hasn't bothered the average Australian serf, and it certainly doesn't bother Monarchists who profit very nicely from the farce we call Democratic Australia. But it will. In time, when the bullshit ceases to work its magic. IT WILL.

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    -1, not for the opinions per se but for all the references in the last paragraph to "treasonous" politicians, "traitors", "the average Australian serf", "the farce we call Democratic Australia", etc. Also for the superfluous hyphens. This answer is not a good fit to the Stack Exchange model. Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 9:40
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    -1. Seriously? What type of site do you think this is? Difficult to read; even harder to comprehend; and full of fallacies and strawmen if you go to effort to translate it. Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 0:43
  • "We have no say in what[who?] she is." Yes you do. The Perth Agreement was a joint venture.
    – Caleth
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 9:04

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