The arrival of the kings. Young Royals visit New Zealand

Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince George are just visiting New Zealand. How important for the British monarchy is to show the presence in the countries like New Zealand? Read few comments.

The Rev’d Professor Noel Cox, Aberystwyth University

To answer, it is important because constitutionally and politically the United Kingdom and New Zealand (and the same applies to each of the other realms) recognises the Queen as head of state. Although it is, in my mind, going too far to say that this is merely an accident of history, the development of the countries of the former British Empire has meant that they share the same person as Queen. Elizabeth II is primarily Queen of the United Kingdom, but she is concurrently (non-resident) Queen of sixteen independent countries. It is therefore important for members of her family, and especially the immediate heirs, to visit these countries regularly. From a British perspective it is also important to preserve historic political and cultural ties.

Gëzim AlpionLecturer in Sociology, University of Birmingham

One can’t help smiling at the media hype about the first overseas ‘official’ visit of a baby. It is in a moment like this that one realises the extent to which the media industry is dominated by non-news today. The eight-month old George Alexander Louis, however, is not just any baby. He is a prince that is ‘crawling’ into history books by beating his father by a month* in embarking on the first royal tour down under to greet loyal and not-so-ardent subjects. One wonders if the British Monarchy will still be around fifty years from now when baby George becomes king. Moreover, no one knows for how much longer the Aussies and Kiwis will continue to acknowledge the occupant of Buckingham Palace as their head of state. One should never underestimate the ability of a millennium-old monarchy to survive, though.

Prince William was nine months old when he visited Australia and New Zealand with Diana and Charles in 1983.

Robert Lacey, British Historian and Biographer

Prince William and Prince George are not just heirs to the British throne, they are heirs to fifteen other monarchies around the world, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand. So they are visiting New Zealand and Australia as future kings of those realms. There are quite strong anti-monarchist groupings in both Australia and New Zealand, so it’s important for the future kings to go out there and demonstrate their popularity.

Robert Hazell, Professor of British Politics and Government & Director of the Constitution Unit, University College London

The British Monarch is head of state not just in the UK, but in 15 other countries around the world.  The largest of these are Canada, Australia and New  Zealand.  So it is very important for Prince William to visit Australia and NZ, because one day he will be their head of state: and Prince George after him.

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