Monarchists must fume at the invisible royals
For the past week or so we have been paid visits by two members of Britain’s royal family – Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (5th in line to the throne) and his cousin Zara Phillips (12th in line).
Edward grabbed a few headlines by putting his foot in his mouth just like his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been doing for decades. He reckons some young Australians would be prepared to die while trying to win a Duke of Edinburgh Award. How Edward would know anything about the rough and tumble of Awards winning escapes most people.
He has been cocooned in wealth and privilege since birth; he quit the Royal Marines and opted for a life of acting instead and like most royals has never done real days work in his life.
Zara, daughter of the twice married Princess Anne and a half-royal - her father Peter Phillips is a non titled commoner - she was here to present the Melbourne Cup to the winning owner.
The cousins rose without a trace and have sunk accordingly which must outrage the dwindling band of Australian monarchists as this week marks the 10th anniversary of the failure of the referendum which should have dragged this country triumphant into the 21st Century.
But John Howard made sure the status quo remained by fudging the issue so brilliantly no one quite knew what they were really voting for.
How miffed the monarchists must be that the royal visitors were so studiously ignored while they were in our midst.
Perhaps Prince William’s three days in January will be a huge success – but how many Australians will tear themselves away from the beach, the tennis and other wondrous summer pursuits to see a young bloke who is irrelevant to the overall scheme of things?
Professor David Flint – one of the two official members of Australia for a Constitutional Monarchy; the others are “supporters”; work that one out – would have us believe that Britain’s royal family is an Australian royal family.
If that is the case the line of succession to “our “ throne is in breach of Section 116 of the Australian Constitution which states “no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or trust under the Commonwealth”.
To succeed to the throne of Britain, and therefore the throne of Australia, there is a qualification; the job is open only to the Protestant descendants of the Electress Sophia of Hanover.
Back to royal visits. They are expensive charades undertaken by non Australians who by a quirk of Constitutional nonsense have a mystical role in this country’s governance.
And the time has surely come for a change.
Barry Everingham is a commentator on royalty.
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