Constitutional monarchist Julian Leeser MP joined a panel in the Lowy Institute in Sydney for a debate about whether Australia should become a republic.
Responding to a question from the audience on whether he would back a governor-general who was not an Australian citizen, Leeser said:
"I don't know who it would be. If you're saying to me, would I support Prince William or Prince Harry becoming governor general? I think we should leave that possibility open. But I think in the main, the likelihood is that we're only going to have Australians serving in that role, but you'd have to gauge public sympathy."
Today I'll be speaking about why the constitutional monarchy is the best form of Government with @cooneymj and @AlexKOliver @LowyInstitute See you there! #auspol https://t.co/LQY1kF9Qai pic.twitter.com/iLcb9yzwkW— Julian Leeser MP (@JulianLeeser) October 11, 2018
The governor-general of the Commonwealth of Australia is the Queen's representative in the country. The holder of the position is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister of Australia.
A governor-general appoints ministers, judges, and ambassadors and also gives royal assent to legislation passed by parliament among other duties. Up until the 1930s governors-general were British and even now there is no legislation saying they should be Australian citizens.
Some reactions poured in on social media after Leeser's suggestion that Prince William or Prince Harry could assume the post of governor-general.
A foreign royal sent here to represent the foreign monarch.— Ken Waugh (@KenWaugh7) October 11, 2018
Sir Prince Phillip on steroids.
A compete insult.
But guaranteed to make a republic a reality.
Let's just throw in the towel and hand back our democracy in its entirety! Where do they find these people? pic.twitter.com/umlfMQHlk8— David Bliss (@serftoeconomist) October 11, 2018
Governor General, maybe. Knighthood, definitely.— josh (@alderaanboi) October 11, 2018
The Lowe Institute discussion took place on the eve of the visit to Australia by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as part of their official tour to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand.