Tony Abbott believes Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding illustrates how much Britain’s monarchy has moved with the times.
The former prime minister – a proud monarchist – won’t be making the journey to England to attend Saturday’s wedding, but says he’ll “probably watch a bit of it on TV.”
Mr Abbott, a major figure in the 1999 ‘No’ campaign against Australia becoming a republic, says the monarchy continues to evolve.
“I do think it’s good that this impending royal marriage has illustrated just how much the monarchy has moved with the times,” Mr Abbott told 2GB radio on Wednesday.
“That’s the virtue of the monarchy. It is a very flexible, adaptive institution and the monarchy here in Australia has evolved in keeping with the times.”
Mr Abbott remembers fondly his brush with the groom.
The pair shared a flight to Perth in 2013 when the prince (who was then a captain in the British army) was off to spend time with Australian soldiers.
Mr Abbott describes his encounter with the “very impressive” young man as a wonderful few hours.
“I think no one who spends time with Prince Harry could fail but be impressed by his decency, his humanity,” he said.
“He would be the last to say he was an academic, but he’s a very sensible, clear-headed bloke.”