AFL legend and Indigenous leader Michael Long has outlined plans to seek King Charles III’s support for the Voice to Parliament.
The former Essendon premiership player is currently walking from Melbourne to Canberra in support of the Voice – recreating a walk he made 19 years ago when Prime Minister John Howard abolished the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.
Speaking in Wangaratta alongside former MPs and fellow Voice supporters Pat Farmer and Nova Peris, Mr Long revealed his journey would not end when he arrives in the nation’s capital on September 14.
The Norm Smith Medal winner, who played 12 seasons with Essendon, said he would travel to London and attempt to get King Charles III to support the Voice, “even if we have to beg”.
“I call on the head of the Commonwealth, I’m calling on King Charles… You are head of the Commonwealth, you are our king,” Mr Long told Nine Newspapers.
“Well, it’s time. If you are the leader you say you are, support the Yes campaign, support the change.
“So, we’re going to take this to London, even if we have to beg the King.”
Mr Long also called on Princes William and Harry to support the constitutional reform.
“I’m calling on his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry [too], your grandmother was head of other black nations, we are no different,” he said.
“So we are calling on King Charles please stand with us, please stand with the Australians that want to move forward.”
British royals rarely comment on political issues due to the long-established convention for the Monarch to remain neutral with respect to political matters.
The importance of this convention was highlighted by the response to The Sun’s 2016 front page claiming “Queen backs Brexit”.
Buckingham Palace released a statement emphasising Queen Elizabeth II adherence to the principle. It also issued a complaint to the United Kingdom’s press watchdog.
“The Queen remains politically neutral as she has for 63 years… The referendum is a matter for the British people to decide,” the statement said.