Less than a week since he acceded to the throne the new King today met with the 56 High Commissioners, who are the version of ambassadors for Commonwealth member states at Buckingham Palace. The King was joined by the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary James Cleverly as he began the painful process of plotting a future relationship between the Monarchy in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
King Charles alongside the UK is the head of state of 14 of the Commonwealth countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica and Papa New Guinea.
Others include Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.
But change was already happening even before the late Queen’s death with Jamaica setting out plans to become a republic in 2025.
Now leftwing New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has suggested that the relationship between the Monarchy and her country could change.
However, Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said “now is not the time” to discuss the monarchy in his country and said he believes King Charles “will focus on the Commonwealth.”
King Charles has become head of the Commonwealth as a special wish of his late mother who did much to promote and support the organisation helping it transfer from Empire to friendship.
While many countries have long since ended having the Sovereign as their head of state they have maintained the historic ties with the institution through the Commonwealth which gathers every two years.
Insiders have said that King Charles was keen to ensure that he met as soon as possible with the High Commissioners to emphasise the continuing importance of the organisation.
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The Queen spent much of her reign fighting to preserve and support the institution.
One of her rare moments where she intervened politically through a leak to the Sunday Times came because of her disagreement with Margaret Thatcher over the then Conservative Government’s refusal to take a hard line against Apartheid South Africa.
There were also claims made during the EU referendum that she supported Brexit because it may help Commonwealth relations.
In 1961 she famously danced with Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah in a moment of high diplomacy to ensure his country stayed in the Commonwealth and did not ally with the Soviet Union.