Young Australia’s choice: royal soap opera or republic
The last time I thought about an Australian republic was in 1999. I was 12 years old and too busy thinking about how hot Prince William was to really care about the republican movement.
Eleven years later, Prince William arrives in Australia. The only time I come into contact with the Royal Family is seeing Willy’s grandma on the $5 note and her head on all the Aussie coins. While I’m interested in the republic v monarchy debate, the dramas of the Royal Family appeals to me even more.
There was a time where the Royal Family were treated with near-universal respect. Now? The walls behind Buckingham Palace are producing scandals the writers of The Bold and the Beautiful wish they could come up with. The Queen must feel a twinge of nostalgia on the days where the family’s dirty laundry wasn’t aired to the press.
From Prince Harry wearing a Nazi armband to a party, to Prince Charlie’s affair with Camilla, to Willy’s grandpa who’s notorious for putting his foot in his mouth, the British royals haven’t been a model of honour, dignity and honesty. It isn’t a family model many Australians uphold.
However, it is an outstanding model for the greatest soapie ever produced. While I was preoccupied with Prince William’s looks when I was 12, I did pay attention to class and I believe the formula of a soapie goes something like this:
1. Drama: This is the essence of a soapie. We have our protagonists who’ll constantly put themselves on the line to save the world. We have our antagonists who make other people’s lives in the show a misery. Camilla Parker Bowles, I’m talking to you.
2. Secrets: Another essential element in soapies – where secrets about a character may be revealed at any given time. For example, questions remain about Diana’s death.
3. Twists and turns: You must expect the unexpected. That’s what makes soapies addictive to watch. With many soapies, secrets lie dormant and may not be revealed until a certain set of episodes where something you may have been wondering about will be suddenly explained. This keeps viewers on their toes.
4. Conclusion: They do occur in soapies, but not often. It usually takes a season before things finally come to an end.
With Princess Beatrice threatening to take Prince Harry’s title of “the party animal of the Royal Family” or on the rare occasions Prince William talks about his mother’s death, you’ve got to wonder why no-one’s thought about basing a soap opera on the British royal family. It could possibly win a Logie too. In fact, I shall write the script, produce it and direct it. It’ll be called…
You know what? I’ll keep it in the bag.
I asked some peers for their views on the royals and the Republican v Monarchy debate. Here’s what they had to say.
In regards to the royal family, none of them have that spirit Princess Diana had. Even with Prince William currently in Australia, the news all try to rekindle that magic by saying he’s as compassionate and looks like his mother. But it’s just not the same.
Personally, I feel the scandals of the royal family override any of the supposed good deeds they’ve done. For that reason alone, the British monarchy no longer benefits Australia.
In regards to the royal family, they’re a contradictory bunch. While they preach about high morals, the way the family conducted themselves is far from moral. A good example is the amount of affairs going on in the family.
We don’t need them to represent Australia; we’re fine on our own.
I don’t know anything about the royal family. I don’t care about the Queen. Why do we care about them anyway?
The British royal family is symbolic of Australia’s inseparable historical link with the United Kingdom. As long as Australia remains a Commonwealth nation, the affairs of the royal family would always feature in the Australian media.
However in some respects, the royal family is given more attention than it deserves. All the negative and immoral circumstances which occur in the British royal family tend to be left largely uncriticised. Due to an overall perception that the royal family is a lineage that is historically significant as symbolising the Britain’s stance as one of the world’s most powerful nations.
I believe that Australia should become a republic. It is true Australia maintains strong ties with the UK, but such ties are largely symbolic in nature. It is time for Australia to emerge as a constitutionally independent nation, separate from the royal family influence.
Monarchy or republic, it’s all a joke for me.
As for the royal family? Their antics make me laugh.
Australia doesn’t really ‘need’ a republic. I wouldn’t be against it if it was to happen, but I probably wouldn’t be for it either. I’d be split down the middle. I don’t have a strong opinion on it. At the moment, I like the way our political system is shaped with the House of Representatives and the Senate. If we were to become a republic and have a President, I don’t think I’d like the way politics worked. On the other hand, I can see positives in becoming a republic like the fact that we’d be independent and wouldn’t have to have England “looking over our shoulder” constantly.
With the Royal family, I like some members of it, and I dislike others. On the topic of Prince Charles & Camilla being King & Queen in the future - I wouldn’t be happy about this as I don’t believe they’ve really got everyone’s best interests at heart. Whereas if Prince William and future wife (possibly Kate Middleton) were to become the reigning monarchs, I’d be more than happy with this. I think William seems quite switched on and is carrying on his mother’s wonderful legacy.
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