King Charles' Waitangi Day message causes stir across the ditch after no mention of Australia Day

  • 07/02/2023

King Charles' Waitangi Day message to Aotearoa has caused a stir across the ditch after the King failed to share a similar message on Australia Day. 

In a statement shared on the Royal Family's website on Sunday (local time), the King sent his "warmest greetings" to Kiwis in Te Reo and English. 

"The Treaty of Waitangi/Tiriti o Waitangi was signed 183 years ago in the reign of my great-great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. It established an enduring connection with my family that I am honoured to continue," the King said. 

"For my own part, I was delighted that my visit to Waitangi four years ago gave me the opportunity to bring with me an historic korowai which had been given to Queen Victoria by Reihana Te Taukawau."

But the King's acknowledgment of Waitangi Day has left some in Australia feeling snubbed because the Royal Family didn't acknowledge Australia Day at all.  

The lack of acknowledgment for Australia Day didn't go unnoticed following previous years of commemorations from Queen Elizabeth II via Her Majesty's social media accounts.

The Queen's death sparked fresh debate in Australia around whether the country should remain a constitutional monarchy or become a republic. 

And while the debate about Australia becoming a republic continues, Sky News Australia host Chris Kenny said the King's absence during Australia Day is a display of the Royal Family distancing itself from Australia. 

"Hang on, we had our own national day last week, and King Charles, the King of Britain and Australia - he didn't even offer a happy Australia Day message," he said on Thursday. 

"This King is too woke to even mention Australia Day, seemingly ashamed of the day his own country claimed Australia as a colony."

The King's missing message followed the Reserve Bank of Australia confirming last week that the King would not replace his late mother on the country's $5 note. 

The $5 note will instead feature a design that honours the culture and history of the First Australians.