"Can we overthrow the Queen and how?"

Although the last time a British monarch was overthrown happened in 1648, the question of how Australia might appoint its own head of state is a much more recent one.

As the Queen is specified as Australia’s head of state in the Australian Constitution, any change to the arrangement – for example, to ‘overthrow’ her and appoint our own head of state – would require a referendum, or a national vote, to be held.

For the Constitution to be changed, the majority of people in a majority of states, and a majority of people across Australia as a whole are required to vote ‘yes’.

Australian voters were last asked if the Constitution should be changed – and whether Australia should become a republic – during a referendum held in 1999. Of the 11.785 million votes cast, 55 per cent voted ‘no’, and 45 per cent voted ‘yes’.   

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