Mourners told ‘don’t set off to join the queue’

Jacinda Ardern has said New Zealand will not become a republic “quick or soon” – but that it could happen “over the course of my lifetime”.

New Zealand’s prime minister told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme that her country’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth II has evolved over the years and that she has no intention of instigating the process of becoming a republic. 

“My observation is that there will continue to be an evolution in our relationship,” she said. “I don’t believe it will be quick or soon, but over the course of my lifetime.

Pressed on how and when this might happen, she said: “We have complex arrangements, the Treaty of Waitangi – a very important founding document for Aotearoa, New Zealand, signed between Maori and the Crown.

“This is why it’s not a process I have any intent of instigating, but if and when it does occur, it will take time, and it will need to be very carefully worked through.”

Ms Ardern also had her first audience with Charles III as monarch while in the UK for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

Speaking to BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, New Zealand’s prime minister said of the meeting with the new King: “The overriding sentiment was just the gratitude for the great effort that people were putting into coming and paying their respects, and by that I mean not just leaders, but people.

“You could see that it meant a huge amount to have seen the sheer scale and outpouring of people’s love and affection for Her late Majesty.”

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