Hollywood actor Russell Crowe has become the unlikely defender of King Charles, while Australia and New Zealand seek to sever ties with the British monarchy and become republics.
However, Gladiator star Mr Crowe, 59, who was born in New Zealand but grew up in Australia, was quick to defend the king, calling him a ‘good guy’ who is ‘nice’ and ‘funny too’ used to be.
Reflecting on meeting the monarch 20 years ago at a film premiere in London, Mr Crowe wrote on Twitter: ‘The man who would be king was nice. He was funny too.’
The king faced a backlash when it was announced that people would be asked to swear allegiance to the new monarch and the queen’s consort at this weekend’s historic coronation ceremony.
Republican campaigners in the affected countries disagreed with the decision, with the Australian Republic Movement calling on people to swear allegiance to the country’s values rather than Charles.
The New Zealand-born actor has jumped to King Charles’s defense amid ongoing pressure for Australia and New Zealand to move away from the British monarchy and become republics. Pictured: King Charles and Russell Crowe at the Royal Premier of ‘Master and Commander’ in 2003
The Gladiator star, 59, (pictured) stepped up to be the unlikely defender of the new king, calling him a ‘good guy’ who was ‘nice’ and ‘funny too’
Writing a series of tweets on Twitter, Mr Crowe reflected on meeting the monarch and added: ‘I don’t think any of us can really understand what that life of duty and expectation must feel like’
But when he stepped in to defend him, Mr Crowe spoke of meeting the then Prince of Wales in 2003, during the royal film premiere of ‘Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’.
He described the king as “highly intelligent and good company, and brave in his deference to the pregnancy of Dani (Mr. Crowe’s ex-wife).”
He added, “I will never forget the warmth in our last handshake. Good guy.
“I don’t think any of us can really understand what that life of duty and expectation must feel like. He takes over the family business. That’s his fate. As for many, from publisher to plasterer.’
While Mr. Crowe insisted he was “not a monarchist” and would never call a royal “highness,” even revealing that he called Prince William and Prince Harry “mate” when he met them, he made it known that he had the utmost respect for the king.
He added, “I watch the costumes and ritual and pageantry with distant interest, if any.
“I don’t know what it should all mean in 2023, or any other time for that matter.
“I don’t really think we need a king, but I’m sure Charles III will do his very best.”
Yesterday’s request from Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, for people in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to take an oath to the King further fueled the debate.
The public has never before been asked to “pay their heart and soul their homage to their undisputed king” or queen.
It is a groundbreaking step to replace the historic rite of aristocrats taking their oaths to the new sovereign.
Only the Prince of Wales will now kneel before the King and promise to be his ‘ruler of life and limb’.
The order of service will read: ‘All who so wish, in the abbey and elsewhere, say together: I swear allegiance to Your Majesty and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.’
The backlash received from home and abroad led Lambeth Palace to make it clear quickly that it was an ‘invitation’, not an instruction.
While Mr Crowe (pictured with the King in 2003) said he was not a ‘monarchist’ and would never call a royal ‘highness’, even revealing that he called Prince William and Prince Harry ‘mate’ when he met them, it made he confessed that he had the greatest respect for the king
More Commonwealth countries are taking steps back from the British monarchy. In February, Australia decided to remove the British monarch from the last banknotes, although it is expected that an image of Charles will appear on the coins. Pictured: The King, then Prince of Wales, on his tour of Australia in 2012
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has said he is personally in favor of his country becoming a republic, but it is not a matter of what he wants to push for as leader
New Zealand’s incumbent Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he would prefer his country to become a republic, but added that he has no intention of changing while he is leader.
The comments were made to reporters as he prepares for his trip to London for the King’s coronation this weekend.
Mr Hipkins said: ‘Ideally, New Zealand will become a fully independent country in time, stand on its own two feet in the world, as we largely do now.
“However, I don’t think replacing the governor-general with another form of head of state is necessarily an urgent priority right now.”
As with many former British colonies, both New Zealand and Australia continue to grapple with what constitutional role the British monarchy should play in the 21st century.
Barbados chose to become a republic in 2021, Jamaica last year said it plans to pursue independence, and in February Australia decided to remove the British monarch from the last of its banknotes, although an image of Charles is expected to be will appear on coins.