According to an analyst, the Australian state of Victoria’s decision to withdraw from hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2026 has “indirect” ties to the country’s connection with the monarchy.
The state of Victoria stated last month that it will no longer host the Games, citing financial worries after claims that it would cost up to £3.6 billion (Australian $7 billion).
According to Associate Professor Cindy McCreery, a History Professor at the University of Sydney, Victoria, and its capital Melbourne struggled significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the city enduring repeated lockdowns that cost a lot of money.
While their “financial argument is genuine,” she told TSZ Newz, it is also an “indirect way of saying that monarchy is not a priority, and [it] may be indirectly linked with the idea of the Commonwealth Games being somehow linked to Australia’s historical relationship with Britain.”
Australia’s interest in becoming a republic has lately grown, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese promising a referendum on the monarchy if re-elected for a second term and King Charles failing to attract the public’s attention in the same manner his late mother did.
Mr. Andrews, like Mr. Albanese, is a Labor politician, with the Australian Labor Party taking a republican stance in government.
Following the decision not to hold the Games in Victoria, it is unclear who would host them, which could result in the sports event being postponed until 2027.
If no viable host is identified, the event’s entire future may be jeopardized, as Birmingham may be forced to host it back-to-back after the Games were hosted there last year.
However, Rishi Sunak remains hopeful that a viable solution to hosting the event in Australia may still be found, as stated by his spokesperson: “We hope that the Victoria state government, the Games federation, and Commonwealth Games Australia will now work together to find a viable solution to hosting the event in 2026.”
Previous host cities Kuala Lumpur and Edmonton declined to host due to budgetary constraints, while Cardiff withdrew its bid for the 2026 Games in July 2016 following the Brexit vote.
The King will visit Kenya for the first time later this year, according to reports this week, although it is unclear when he will return to Australia.
The visit is expected to be emotional for the King because Kenya is where the late Queen was when she learned of her own father’s death in 1952.
On the journey, Charles will be accompanied by Queen Camilla, and it will take place not long after the first anniversary of the Queen’s death.
Charles is also planned to visit France, which had to be rescheduled after being postponed in March due to protests across the country.