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A royal visit to challenge monarchists


Barry Everingham

The royals won't save the monarchy and we must move on.

Prince Charles and Camilla.

Prince Charles and Camilla. Photo: Getty Images

AUSTRALIA'S monarchists are beside themselves now that the next king and queen of Australia have arrived as part of the British monarch's diamond jubilee celebrations Commonwealth-wide public relations blitz.

Why this middle aged pair of, let's face it, adulterers were chosen is anyone's guess, but it certainly wasn't as a sop to the Australians who remain in love with the late Princess of Wales.

Diana's humiliation as Charles and Camilla frolicked in friends' houses was obvious - and the British public, who tolerate fornication but abhor adultery, were very put out when Charles was heard in a fit of royal romanticism confess to his then mistress, now his wife and Australia's next Queen, that all he wanted was to be her tampon.

The conversation went on; however, this paper is not about spoiling our readers' Sundays.

Our constitution serves up heads of state who are not Australian and who live in a foreign country and know absolutely nothing about this country. The very nature of their office denies every Australian the right, the opportunity, to serve in Australia's top job.

The other colonisers - Spain, Belgium and Holland, for example - may not have left their conquests in great shape but they certainly didn't depart leaving unbroken ties and foreign heads of state. It's a sure bet that the governments of those former colonies would not be as acquiescent on the matter as successive governments in Canberra

Our friends at Australia for a Constitution Monarchy (ACM) go along with the canard that Camilla will be HRH the Princess Consort when Charles becomes King. That was put out by the palace when the couple married but has since been put to rest by the Prince himself.

It has shades of the humiliation heaped on his late uncle, the Duke of Windsor, who when he abdicated the throne as King Edward VIII so he could marry his divorced girlfriend (and the couple swapped the throne of England to become monarchs of cafe society) his Duchess, unlike Camilla, was denied the HRH title.

Not for Camilla will the House of Commons pass the Depriving Act as it did in 1937 to make sure the Duchess of Windsor remained a commoner.

At that time there was no precedent for this and the then editor of Burke's Peerage (the British bible of social rank) called it ''the most flagrant act of discrimination in the whole history of our dynasty''.

Australian monarchists would do well to remember that the British government didn't ask Commonwealth countries if there were any objections to Charles and Camilla marrying. In contrast, it did ask all members of the old Empire if it was OK for King Edward to marry his mistress - and got a resounding ''no'' from every country, with Australia and Canada leading the push of naysayers.

Again we are saddled with a man most people regard as an odd eccentric who talks to plants.

Again, over at ACM the joy of the visit of the world's most attractive young couple, William and Kate, had them in fits of projections that the couple would cement the monarchy in Australia for future generations. What that prediction misses is that if the longevity genes of the Queen and the Queen Mother are passed on to William though Charles, our king after next could be well into his 60s and by then England might itself be a republic.

What monarchists also seem to forget is that the Queen made a grievous error in the 1970s when she accepted the advice that she should allow the TV cameras into her palaces to show the public that her family was as ordinary as non-royal. She let the light into the darkness of generations of wealth and privilege and laziness.


It's not every day that that ordinary folk have butlers and footmen and maids at their beck and call.

And in these modern easygoing times the Queen's children notched up a record in the divorce department - three failed marriages out of four; that is a record not matched in everyday Australian suburbia.

And the 24 hours news cycle is as relentless on the royals as it in on celebrities all over the world. Kate and William and Harry are sitting ducks and again the monarchists have got it wrong - those attractive young people are just plain common variety celebrities who happen to be royal and they will not save the monarchy.

Even from itself.

â– Barry Everingham is a Melbourne-based commentator on royalty.

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