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

epa07088251 Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (L) leave after the royal wedding ceremony of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, Britain, 12 October 2018. EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

WELLINGTON, March 9 (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)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.