Gillard backs republic after Queen's death

3:28 pm on 18 August 2010

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says her country should become a republic after the Queen dies.

Australians voted against becoming a republic in a 1999 referendum, and Ms Gillard's main opponent in Saturday's election, Tony Abbott, is a staunch monarchist, the BBC reports.

Despite Ms Gillard's republican views, she says there is deep affection for the 84-year-old British monarch whom she wishes a long and healthy life.

Ms Gillard said that the appropriate time for Australia to move towards a republic was when there was a change in monarch, even if that did not happen for another decade or more.