Australians could ditch Queen
Australia could vote within two years on whether the country should drop Queen Elizabeth as head of state and become a republic.
Senator Bob Brown, of the Green Party, has introduced legislation to the upper house that would enable the public to vote on severing ties with the British Crown at the next federal election in 2010.
Both Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister, and Malcolm Turnbull, the opposition leader, are avowed republicans.
A poll earlier this year found that 70pc of Australians wanted to cut their constitutional ties with Britain.
Monarchists in Australia have promised to launch a fight of "monumental proportions" against any move towards a republic.
In 1999, a referendum on the question of becoming a republic was defeated. (©Daily Telegraph, London)