Royal interview unlikely to have an effect on New Zealand

Wellington, March 8

New Zealand’s Prime Minister says the country is unlikely to become a republic anytime soon or otherwise break from observing Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked by a reporter whether the unflattering picture of the British royal family painted by Harry and Meghan had given her pause about New Zealand’s constitutional ties to Britain.

“I’ve said before that I’ve not sensed an appetite from New Zealanders for significant change in our constitutional arrangements, and I don’t expect that’s likely to change quickly,” she said.

Asked whether Harry and Meghan had ever inquired about living in New Zealand, Ardern said they hadn’t in any official capacity, as far as she was aware.

And asked about her personal friendship with Meghan since the couple toured the country in 2018, Ardern said she had kept in touch.

“It is fair to say in the past I’ve had contact here and there,” she said, adding: “But ultimately, the matters that are being canvassed here I see, as for Meghan and Harry to respond to directly. These are matters about their personal lives and their personal decisions, and I don’t think it deserves a commentary from anyone else.” AP

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