IT is "inevitable" Australia will ditch the monarchy, the country's new high commissioner has said.

Stephen Smith said most people in the UK would be "indifferent" to Australia becoming a republic and insisted it would not damage the relationship between the two countries.

In his first interview since moving to London, he said Australians were proud to have the King as head of state but admitted it was only a matter of time before the country cut ties with the royal family.

It comes after the Australian central bank announced the portrait of Queen Elizabeth on a $5 note would not be replaced with an image of King Charles and would instead feature Aboriginal artwork.

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Smith said: “There is a lot of affection and respect for the monarchy in Australia.

“That affection and respect hasn’t gone away because of Australia contemplating from time to time what it should do about its constitutional arrangements.”

He added though: “My personal view is it’s inevitable [Australia will get rid of the monarchy]. But how that’s progressed is entirely a matter for the Australian government of the day."

The Labor government - headed up by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese - is dominate by republicans. However, Albanese has said he will attend the coronation on May 6.

Australians were well-known for being affectionate towards Queen Elizabeth but former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull once famously said many Australians are "Elizabethans" and not monarchists. 

Former Australian MP Fiona Patten told The National last year she did not think Charles would be as popular as Eilzabeth and was in "no doubt" Australia would become a republic following the Queen's death. 

However, she said now was not the right time for the question to be asked as the country is looking to create a representative body of Indigenous people in Australia. A referendum is to be held on the issue later this year.

Smith added: “Australia does not have referendums on an all too regular basis.

“Whether down the track there is a future referendum associated with Australia and the UK’s constitutional arrangements, only time will tell.”

Smith was previously foreign secretary and defence secretary under the Labor governments from 2007 to 2013.

The last time Australians were asked about becoming a republic, the notion was rejected by 54.87% of voters.