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King Charles' coronation: A 'range of enthusiasm' from the Pacific

The King will be formally crowned in a splendid array of tradition and ceremony on Saturday night New Zealand time.

But amidst all the pageantry, the British Empire has a problematic past.

Vanuatu-based journalist Dan McGarry said the past has not been forgotten, but the level of impact is different in the various parts of the Blue Continent.

"I think you'll find a range of opinion and a range of enthusiasm," McGarry told RNZ Pacific.

"The Pacific is a very large place with a great diversity in opinions, cultural approaches, and histories and legacies. For some, the colonial legacy weighs a little more heavily than for others."

McGarry said in the French Pacific the coronation is "a bit of a non-event", and in other places, like Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, were far enough away from their colonial experience.

He said it means that they do not feel particularly engaged with the monarchy per se, although they may be proud Commonwealth members.

"I think you can find people in Vanuatu, for example, who still remember, who were part of the independence movement."

"Prior to independence, a great many Ni-Vanuatu were effectively stateless. They were not given passports, for example; they were treated with a great deal of discrimination and prejudice.

"So there are people who are still alive today, who were instrumental in removing the colonial powers."

McGarry said "for very obvious reasons" those people did not have "very fond memories of the kind of repression they faced when they were trying to organise politically and to lobby for independence."

But he added there is a certain fondness for the individuals of the former Queen Elizabeth II and Charles, both of whom have been attentive and warm to the Pacific Island nations.

"They're very fond of these places. The royal family have been visiting the Pacific Islands regularly.

"We don't feel ignored, if you will, by the monarchy, but think the majority of people fail to see any particular role for it in their day to day lives."