No appetite in New Zealand to review constitutional link to royal family, PM Ardern says


FILE PHOTO: New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at a news conference on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Wellington, New Zealand, February 17, 2021. Picture taken February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Praveen Menon

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand is unlikely to stop having Queen Elizabeth as its head of state anytime soon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, in comments following Oprah Winfrey's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan.

Ardern was asked by a reporter if the interview, and the picture painted of the royal family, had given her pause around New Zealand's constitutional ties with the royals.

"I’ve said before that, you know, I’ve not sensed an appetite from New Zealanders for significant change in our constitutional arrangements, and I don’t expect that

that’s likely to change quickly from New Zealanders," Ardern said.

A former British colony, New Zealand retains Queen Elizabeth as its constitutional monarch and head of state.

In a tell-all television interview, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan accused the royal family of racism and of failing to protect them from negative media coverage, sending shockwaves through the monarchy.

Asked whether Harry and Meghan had ever inquired about living in New Zealand, Ardern said they had not done so officially.

Ardern is said to have developed a personal friendship with Meghan when the couple toured New Zealand in 2018, and Meghan has described the prime minister as an inspiration.

But Ardern said they have only been in touch occasionally in the past.

"Ultimately, the matters that have been canvassed here I see as for Meghan and Harry to respond to directly. These are matters about their personal lives and their personal decisions, and I don’t think it deserves a commentary from anyone else,

particularly," she added.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In World

Chad's Deby wins sixth term as army fends off rebel advance
EU condemns Russian decision to evict 20 Czech diplomats
Chad President Deby wins re-election, extending 30 years in power
Canada to put up C$30 billion for long-awaited national childcare program
Russian air force kills up to 200 militants in Syria -Ifx
Victims of chemical attacks in Syria file complaint with Swedish police
Israel's Netanyahu loses vote on key parliamentary committee
Pandemic drives traditional burning of Swiss snowman into Alps
Rwanda says France bears responsibility for enabling 1994 genocide
EU's Michel says he has brokered deal to end crisis in Georgia

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers