Prince Charles gets welcomed into Brisbane today ahead of the opening of the Commonwealth Games.

Just as the republic debate rears its head again of course. I can't help but think it must be a tad embarrassing for his royal highness and Games guest of honour to arrive into a country just as it pipes back up on the old "get rid of the monarchy" front.

Former Prime Ministers Paul Keating and Tony Abbott are both at it, the pair clashing over what the Prince himself thinks of Australia ditching the monarchy.

Keating claims Prince Charles doesn't care, but Abbott says that's not true. Why two political heads are speaking on behalf of Prince Charles is beyond me. Clarence House did clarify by officially responding and saying both the Queen and Prince Charles believe the future of the monarchy in Australia is for the Australian people to decide.


Very diplomatic.

A bloke who believes Prince Charles is on board with Australia going its own way is widely respected commentator and chair of the Australian Republic Movement, Peter FitzSimons.

He's gone so far as to say it would be great if Prince Charles could use this Australian tour to formally support a republic.

He points out that waiting for Prince Charles to take the throne, only to then ditch him as head of state, would be unfair.

In other words, strike while the iron's hot.

Our PM, a self-declared republican, said in an interview a few days ago with British newspaper The Guardian that she expects NZ will become a republic in her lifetime. The cost of that, the negotiations and discussions required, not to mention getting the public on board, are all a bit eye-watering to consider. (And one would like to think her priorities are indeed elsewhere at the moment.)

But all this republic talk, getting relitigated bang smack in the midst of the Prince's arrival on the Gold Coast does feel a bit, well, rude.

I mean I'm no fan of Prince Charles, but he's merely doing his job, turning up, shaking a few hands, conducting a few formalities, all the while having debate rage around him as to whether anyone wants him or not.


He isn't of course Head of the Commonwealth, nor is he the automatic successor - it's not a hereditary position and requires the approval of the Commonwealth member states.

But he's already facing opposition there too.

A recent study showed Prince's William and Harry are the most popular royals since records began, which could make them possible contenders, in what may well turn out to be a popularity contest.

Either way, for a guy who just had a scathing biography come out about him, his Dad's in Hospital, his daughter-in-law's about to give birth, and whose youngest son is about to marry in what's being billed as the most expensive wedding ever, you'd think he's got a bit more on his plate to worry about.

He was probably hoping a nice break Downunder into the sunshine of the Gold Coast could be welcome respite. No such luck.