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Prince Charles Has No Place At Commonwealth Conf

Prince Charles Has No Place At Commonwealth Conference

On the eve of the latest Commonwealth conference, Common Cause - an alliance of
Commonwealth republican movements - has rejected the notion that Charles should
automatically succeed the Queen as lifetime head of the organisation.

In a joint statement from republican groups in Australia, Canada, New Zealand
and the UK, the movements have called for an end to the monarchy's favoured
position within the Commonwealth.

As the Queen grows older, Charles is taking on more of her official duties. His
attendance at this weekend's CHOGM Commonwealth conference in Uganda is clearly
an attempt to promote the possibility of him becoming the next Head of the
Commonwealth.

It has always been known that when the Queen dies, Charles will not
automatically become Head of the Commonwealth; that instead, it will be up to
the Commonwealth heads of government to decide what will happen to this
symbolic position. The Royal family must stop making the assumption that they
will continue to have a role in the Commonwealth.

Prince Charles has no official status in the Commonwealth so there is no reason
why he should be part of a retreat for elected leaders. He is clearly lobbying
for the top job. As a unique community of nations, the Commonwealth is
committed to democracy, liberty and equal rights for all. These principles,
not hereditary privilege, are important to the Commonwealth's future.

NOTES

CHOGM is the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, held once every two
years. Prince Charles is to attend his first Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting or CHOGM next week, amid speculation that the 53-nation body is
preparing for life after Queen Elizabeth II.

It is understood that the question of whether Charles will inherit the title of
head of the body is being actively considered. A majority of Commonwealth
member nations are republics. A recent poll in Canada shows majority support
for a republic - see here [1].

Common Cause is an alliance of Commonwealth republican movements, notably in
Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. For further information see:

* Australia - www.republic.org.au

* Britain - www.republic.org.uk

* Canada - www.canadian-republic.ca

* New Zealand - www.republic.org.nz


The Republican Movement is a network of New Zealanders who want our head of
state to be elected by New Zealanders - either directly or indirectly.

We are committed to:

* involving all New Zealanders in the republic debate;

* providing relevant and reliable information;

* focusing on ideas, not personalities;

* winning a referendum to establish the republic;

Creating a republic does not require any change to the Treaty of Waitangi, flag
or Commonwealth membership. For more information, see our website:
www.republic.org.nz

ENDS

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