Watching Prince Charles potter around Australia this week, it struck me that he’s got quite a bit in common with opposition leader Tony Abbott.
They both perform well in front of the cameras: charming, crooked smiles; friendly, if slightly goofy demeanours.
But when it comes time to open their mouths: Blah. Blah. Blah.
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US Celebrity news website TMZ has a deliciously succinct three word poll today. It reads, quite simply: Harry. Awesome? Disgraceful?
After tens of thousands of reader responses, “Awesome” is winning by a ratio of around 70:30. This confirms something Australians have felt instinctively for some time, which is that the day of the stodgy royal is over. We don’t want beefeaters, we want beefy young blokes with lusty appetites.
The world has changed since the merest sighting of a begloved royal sent us into apoplexy. We still want them to reign over us, or some of us do, but we want them real. When Harry is done inspecting the royal guards and helping the victims of landmines, he’s perfectly entitled to have a nude romp in Las Vegas. In fact, many of us expect nothing less.
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There has been a bit of a popular phrase going around for the last couple of days. It goes something like this: “Even Republicans must acknowledge the Queen is a remarkable woman.”
Well. No. We. Don’t.
If anything the vulgar pageantry we have seen in the last few days as Elizabeth celebrates 60 years as Queen of England (and Australia) hammers home the point about what an obscene spectacle it all is.
Alexander Downer has a disturbing lack of faith in Australia and Australians. How else to explain his column in The Advertiser where he appeared to suggest without the good graces of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Australia would slip into some sort of blood-soaked revolution.
Mr Downer invoked the situation in Libya, mentioned the horrors of the Russian Revolution and even the French Revolution then pondered why our nation is “quiet, placid, peaceful Australia”.
His conclusion? The Queen.
Tired of scrutinising slow-mo footage of suspicious ripples in Beyonce’s baby bump, I’m pleased to announce that we’re free to analyse another equally significant, universe-buckling event.
The Prime Minister didn’t curtsy to the Queen. No. I don’t think you understand. PRIME MINISTER. DIDN’T CURTSY. QUEEN. Surprisingly the police weren’t called, but the indignant tutting of monarchists could be heard from space, much like the Governor General’s outfit.
See, ‘curtsy’ is an abbreviation of the word ‘courtesy’. Well, it probably is – I leave that kind of research to proper journalists. They sound similar though, and that can’t be a coincidence, right? It’s similar to the way that ‘Negus’ is short for ‘Never Give Up Sixty Minutes’, in that I made it up just then.
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On April 29 this year, Prince William will marry Kate Middleton. In October, the Queen will visit Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
As the person responsible for media at the Australian Republican Movement (ARM), I predict that these will be my two busiest times of the year. Whenever anyone mentions royalty in an Australian context, the media then thinks “republic” and more often than not gives me a call.
This is as it should be, since the media knows that the majority of Australians want Australia to be a republic now or at the end of the Queen’s reign - at least 60 per cent, according to most polls. On the other hand, it means that the ARM sometimes spends more time talking about royal personalities and personages rather than the things that really matter to us - why an Australian Republic is so important to Australia. The fact is, we have nothing against the personalities - it is the institution that is the problem.
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He’s finally done it. After nine years together, approximately 76 fascinators and most of Will’s head of hair, the second in line to the throne has managed to get down on bended knee and give his long-time girlfriend one hell of a sparkler (12 carats in fact).
It propels Kate Middleton, long the fodder of the voracious paparazzi pack and Hello! devotees, well and truly into the global spotlight.
And it is today that the work really begins for Catherine Middleton. She faces perhaps the most daunting and dramatic transformations, to somehow deftly emerge from the shadow of one the most iconic, albeit neurotic, personalities of the 20th century.
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Fergie has done it again and this time there won’t be any more agains – ever.
The royal family and the British public have had a gutful of the red headed bombshell they never really came to terms with in the first place, which is surprising considering her family’s royal and aristocratic background.
Sarah, Duchess of York is a direct descendant of King Charles II and she has known the Queen and the royal family since she was small child. Her Father, Major Ronnie Ferguson, was Prince Philip’s polo manager and the two men were great mates.
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Amid the continuing debate about our national identity and our constitutional arrangements, readers might be interested in this piece written this weekend for English newspaper The Mail on Sunday about our response to Prince William’s visit. It’s obviously written for an English audience, and it ended up being an embarrassingly positive piece where my republicanism almost abandoned me.
The last thing we need over here in Sydney is another cashed-up foreign interloper buying into the hyper-inflated property market to further jack up prices in the Harbour City.
But Prince Williams’ joking suggestion that he had so fallen in love with Sydney that he intends to buy a house here was not so much condemned as applauded.
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Don’t think for a moment that last week’s visit by Prince William was anything other than a stunt by the House of Windsor or, at the least, those whose survival depend on its.
Prince William was said to have been “mobbed” as he moved through Victorian country towns. The Beatles were mobbed. The future king was watched. “King of the kids” was the headline. You’ll get that during school holidays, and how fortunate was he to chance upon those?
We aren’t the only nation still constitutionally tied to the old colonial master – there a more than a dozen - but we are the jewel in the crown.
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