King Charles: Anti-monarchists send gruesome message ahead of monarch’s visit

As Monarch, King Charles is also the Head of State of the Commonwealth countries, which includes Australia. However, some aren’t happy about this.

King Charles Australia anti-monarchists
© Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images
King Charles Australia anti-monarchists

King Charles isn’t only the Head of State of the United Kingdom, he is also the Head of State of the Commonwealth countries, which includes Australia, Canada and many more. Although, in recent years, several countries within the Commonwealth have expressed their desire to be independent.

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Indeed, the first country to leave was Ireland in 1948 and in 2021, Barbados removed the late Queen Elizabeth as the country’s Head of State and became a republic, as per BBC. In some of the Commonwealth countries, there is a growing unease as some citizens wish their country was independent.

One of the countries that is growing more and more restless on the matter is Australia and with the events of the past weekend, activists want results.

Anti-monarchists in Australia send King Charles a worrying birthday message

June 10 marked King Charles’ birthday in some states in Australia. What should have been a celebration ended up being the occasion for some to make a statement. As reported by Daily Mail, the WACA group, which stands for Whistleblowers, Activists and Communities Alliance, cut off the head of the George V statue in Melbourne.

The activists filmed the vandalism – after sawing off the statue's head, they covered the remaining body in red paint and sprayed the words ‘The colony will fall’. They then filmed the statue's head on the floor and ‘Happy Birthday Motherf***er’ flashed on the screen. The video featured the song God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols.

The George V statue is in Kings Domain - a large park in Melbourne on the south bank of the Yarra. Naturally, the police are investigating the vandalism, but the WACA group have already taken responsibility for the act, as per Daily Mail.

This isn’t the first time that statues of British historical figures have been vandalised in Australia. In January 2024, on Australia Day, a statue of Captain Cook, at Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy, was found broken and had graffiti on it. The statue of Queen Victoria in Melbourne was also vandalised, it was covered in red paint

Then, on February 27, 2024, the same statue of Captain Cook was cut at the ankles and toppled over. However, the attack on the Captain Cook monument wasn’t by the WACA group, but by the hard-left group Antifa.

What is the WACA group?

According to the WACA Facebook page, they are a:

Grassroots alliance supporting communities to campaign to end war, defend human, environmental & civil rights & confront corporate corruption.

The Radical Guide explains that the group was formed in 2010 with the name WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance. The group was formed in response to the Australian Government’s ‘hostility towards Wikileaks’.

The group became the Whistleblowers, Activists and Communities Alliance in 2014 to include the:

Growing local and global movement which is standing against the agenda of permanent warfare, corporate collusion or corruption, environmental destruction and the degradation of human and civil rights.

Why does Australia celebrate King Charles’ birthday in June?

You may be wondering why June 10 was King Charles’ birthday in Australia when the Monarch’s birthday is on November 14. As King Charles’ birthday is in Autumn in the UK, it is moved to June so there is a better chance of nice weather for the celebrations - the late Queen Elizabeth II did the same.

In Australia, however, it is slightly different. According to Australian National University, each state of Australia celebrates at different times so as not to clash with other national holidays. For example, Western Australia celebrates the King’s birthday either on the 4th Monday of September or the 1st Monday of October - closer to the summer months in the Southern Hemisphere.

The date to celebrate the Monarch’s birthday is announced each year by the state’s governor. Queensland celebrates King Charles’ birthday on the 1st Monday of October.

King Charles planning a trip to Australia

As monarch, one of King Charles’ responsibilities is to travel around the world and visit other countries. Some of the countries he visits the most are the Commonwealth ones as he is also their Head of State.

The King is in the midst of planning a visit Down Under later in the year. It is still unclear whether the trip will go ahead as planned, one of the main reasons to do with His Majesty’s recent issues.

The Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, told ABC that they are ‘preparing for a possible visit from His Majesty The King to Australia later this year’. He added that King Charles has often shown ‘compassion’ for Australians who have been affected by recent natural disasters.

He goes on to say that he and the rest of the Royal Family are ‘always welcome in Australia’.

The King, Queen and members of the royal family are always welcome in Australia. My government is engaging with states and territories on options for a possible royal visit.

The King’s visit to Australia would be planned for October 24, 2024, which is around the time of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which is to be held in Samoa this year, as per People. As reported by Daily Mail, if the King does go to Australia later this year, it would be his 16th visit Down Under, equalising his mother.

However, King Charles’ visit could be put on hold if the current anti-monarchist activities grow stronger in the country—which is currently divided, explains Daily Mail.

Indeed, The Firm usually holds off on State Visits when a country is going through political or social unrest. The most recent example is that of the King and Queen's State Visit to France, which took place in September 2023 when it was initially scheduled for March of that year. At the time, the country was facing major riots.This division is reportedly being blamed on the Australian Prime Minister, who is supposed to hold a referendum on whether Australia should become a republic.

Read more:

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Sources used:

BBC: ‘Barbados becomes a republic and parts ways with the Queen’

Edinburgh News: ‘King Charles III coronation: Which commonwealth countries are thinking about becoming a republic?’

Daily Mail: ‘Anti-monarchist vandals decapitate statue of King George V in Melbourne in sick video dedicated to King Charles soundtracked by the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen in the latest attack of the growing 'The colony must fall' movement’

People: ‘King Charles Planning Royal Visit to Australia This Year Despite Cancer Diagnosis’

Australia National University: ‘King's Birthday Public Holiday’



The Radical Guide: ‘Whistleblowers, Activists and Communities Alliance’

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