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New Zealanders happy with Queen Elizabeth as head of state

Tuesday, March 9th 2021 - 09:15 UTC
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PM Jacinda Ardern and Queen Elizabeth in 2018. (Getty) PM Jacinda Ardern and Queen Elizabeth in 2018. (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth, as constitutional monarch of New Zealand, is unlikely to stop being the head of state anytime soon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, in comments following Oprah Winfrey's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan.

“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.

With information from Reuters

Categories: Politics, International.

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