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With satisfaction a few weeks ago, a poll said Canadians were divided on abdicating the royal familyOUS News

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Canada’s election for a new monarch is less than two months away and the country is split down the middle on whether it’s time to cut ties with the crown, a new poll suggests.

A Leger survey of 1,544 Canadians found 56 per cent of respondents agreed that the country should “examine its relationship” to the monarchy now that there is a new monarch.

That number was highest in Quebec, where 71 percent of respondents said there should be some constitutional soul-searching about the crown.

People in Ontario (53 per cent) and BC (52 per cent) are more likely than other provinces to say King Charles and his heirs should maintain their current role in our system.

SEE | King Charles’ deep connection to Canada:

King Charles’s deep ties to Canada

England’s new monarch, King Charles has deep ties to Canada, making connections with Canadians through his benevolence and proclamations during his many visits to the country.

Barbados left its relationship with the monarchy last year and became an independent country – a decision that gave hope to anti-royalists in other Commonwealth countries.

That kind of move can’t happen easily in Canada.

Canada requires unanimity on the question – the House of Commons and the Senate and all 10 provinces will have to agree on a different plan.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he has no appetite for such a protracted constitutional battle. Like it or not, Charles is probably here to stay.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort are pictured at an event.
King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort attend a reception at Clarence House in London on December 23. (Chris Jackson/The Associated Press)

But it’s clear that many Canadians just don’t think about the royal family all that much.

The poll found that 67 percent of respondents felt “indifferent” to Charles’ new role. Only 12 per cent said it was “good news” that he was Canada’s new president. Almost 14 per cent said it was “bad news” that Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son had claimed his birthright.

Almost 80 percent of respondents said they were not “personally attached” to what Leger described as the “British” monarchy.

While they said they had not given it much thought, the poll also found that 47 percent of those surveyed knew Charles’s coronation would take place on May 6. About 40 percent said they would plan to watch the event. TV of the event, which will be broadcast around the world.

The related high-level awareness may be contributed by Prince Harry’s book tour and the tabloid fodder that he and his wife, Meghan, have generated in recent weeks.

There are questions about whether the California-based couple will attend Charles’ big day after a public spat with other members of the family.

King Charles III, from bottom left, Camilla, Queen Consort, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry are pictured.
King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry watch as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried into the hearse following a state funeral at Westminster Abbey in central London on September 19, 2022 . (Martin Meissner/The Associated Press)

The welcome ceremony – an event full of religious symbolism and pageantry – is generally regarded as one of the most important days in a monarchy.

John Fraser is the founder of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada and a monarchist. He said Charles’ poor showing in the Leger polls was cause for concern.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Canadians don’t care because we haven’t seen much of it. These opinion polls are often based on proximity to the person,” Fraser told CBC News.

“He hasn’t been here much in the last five years so, to Canadians, he has a deep sense of purpose and rightly so. He is the leader of our country now and we need to see more of him and that it’s something you need to go to.”

As head of state in a constitutional monarchy, Charles defers to the government of the day on such questions as when he will come to Canada for a visit.

Through Heritage Canada, the department that preserves all things royal, the federal government is responsible for planning tours like Charles’ visit last year for the Platinum Jubilee.

Fraser said the general feeling of indifference about the crown may also explain why the federal government hasn’t said a word about how Canada will mark the occasion — or whether there will be a royal visit later this year to mark Charles’s accession.

Canada sent the world’s largest contingent to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 at Westminster Abbey in London. There are celebrations throughout the country to mark the accession of the country’s new queen.

Queen Elizabeth II is seen seated on the throne during her Coronation at Westminster Abbey in 1953.
Queen Elizabeth II sits on the throne during her Coronation at Westminster Abbey on July 2, 1953. (The Associated Press)

It is unlikely that Canada will do as much now as it did then. Fraser said the government may prefer to let the crown’s role in Canada “atrophy” through neutrality — a choice that would worry Buckingham Palace, he added.

Conservatives say that, as a senior member of the Commonwealth and a country with close historical ties to the Crown, Canada should do something special to mark the arrival of a new King.

Republicans, meanwhile, say Charles doesn’t deserve any recognition.

Fraser said a well-produced tour, as well as a tour of Canada, could boost Charles’ standing in the eyes of some Canadians. He believes, however, that there will always be some “Rabid Republicans” and many people who will “just shrug their shoulders.”