The Australian reported in January 2024 that a government spokesperson said, “The prime minister [Anthony Albanese] enjoys a warm relationship with the King and looks forward to welcoming His Majesty to Australia later this year.”
Though there is no official confirmation from Buckingham Palace as of yet, King Charles is set to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting beginning on 21 October 2024 in Samoa – which is relatively close to Australia; it takes a 6 hour flight to get here from Samoa as opposed to the 24 hour flight from London…
“While there is no confirmation from Buckingham Palace or from the Prime Minister, I think it makes perfect sense for the King to make his first visit as monarch in October 2024,” says Juliet Rieden, The Weekly’s Editor-at-Large and Royal Correspondent.
“He will be at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa so a trip to Australia and New Zealand would be very convenient. Of course as Australia’s Head of State, the King has a standing invitation from The Australian government, so it’s no surprise that he would be visiting.”
The visit would mark King Charles’ seventeenth visit to Australia since first coming out here as a 17-year-old.
“Charles has a long association with Australia having studied at Geelong Grammar’s Timbertop as a teenager but this will be a landmark tour being his first since acceding to the throne and I’m sure will reference all the King’s most urgent climate change and environmental concerns,” Juliet says.
“If the dates work I’m sure Queen Camilla will also be with her husband but as is usual protocol we won’t have a formal announcement and know for sure until much closer to the time.”
The King and Queen’s decision to make a royal visit will be crucial amid renewed talks of the monarchy’s role in modern Australia.
However, it appears there are still a strong royalist core at the heart of Australia who want to see the monarchy remain. As part of The Weekly’s 90th celebrations, we repeated the Voice of Australian Women Survey first put out in 1980, asking readers once more if modern Australia would actually be better off as a republic. 61 per cent declared a firm no, which is down from 81 per cent in 1980, but up from 56 per cent in 2007.
This visit would mark Charles’ first as King since his coronation on 6 May, 2023. Charles last visited along with Camilla in 2018 when they officially opened the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“My wife and I could not be more delighted to be able to join all of you here on the Gold Coast this evening – and the many millions of you who are watching from your homes across the Commonwealth,” The then-Prince of Wales said during the Opening Ceremony.
Charles and Camilla also made appearances in Bundaberg and Cairns, meeting with a number of charity, environment and community organisations – continuing their dedication to environment and climate change activism.