Daily News Updates

Australia to Remove British Monarchy From Its Bank Notes

Australia is removing the British royal family from its bank notes, and not everyone is happy about it.

The Reserve Bank of Australia said the new $5 note would feature a design that “honors the culture and history of First Australians,” referring to the country’s indigenous peoples.  

The design will replace the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, who first appeared on Australian bank notes in 1966 when the country changed to a decimal currency and replaced the pound with the dollar. King Charles III, who is now the official head of state in 14 countries outside of the U.K., including Australia, won’t be included on the notes. 

The leader of the Liberal Party in Australia, the country’s main opposition,

Peter Dutton,

dismissed the move as “woke nonsense.”

“There is no question that this was directed by the government and I think the PM should own up to it,” he said in a radio interview on Thursday. 

“I think it’s another attack on our systems, our society and our institutions. The silent majority don’t agree with a lot of this woke nonsense that goes on,” he added. 

Elsewhere, pro-republican campaigners welcomed the decision.

“The change is an important symbolic step,” said Craig Foster, chair of the Australian Republic Movement. “Especially given First Nations Australians had been here more than 65,000 years before British settlement and the now accepted incongruence between the monarchy and contemporary Australia.”

“To think that an unelected king should be on our currency in place of First Nations leaders and elders and eminent Australians is no longer justifiable,” he added.

Republican sentiment has gained momentum in Australia, and other former colonies, since the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year. She was a broadly popular figure, who in her 70 years on the throne provided a sense of stability and constancy to millions of people worldwide. 

WSJ’s Shelby Holliday takes a look at which Commonwealth realms are talking about replacing the British monarch as head of state and the legal challenges they may face moving forward. Illustration: David Fang

She established a personal connection with many ordinary citizens in her dozens of state visits overseas. But with the accession of the less-popular King Charles III, republican campaigners have an opportunity to argue their position without being seen as insulting a well-liked queen.

In 2021, Barbados became the first country in about 30 years to ditch the monarchy. Several other Caribbean nations, including Jamaica, are preparing to sever ties.

The Bank said it would consult with First Australians in designing the new $5 bank note, the reverse side of which would continue to feature the Australian Parliament.

Write to Gareth Vipers at gareth.vipers@wsj.com

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button