It’s a discussion that has been going on for years and I have no doubt it will go on for many years more. Should we remain a monarchy or should we become a republic within the Commonwealth or perhaps most extreme of all, should we become a republic totally independent of the UK without remaining in the Commonwealth?
Several years ago the republicans almost won in a referendum on the subject, but were not successful as John Howard very carefully worded the document so that one almost had to vote against it. Very sly and very clever!
Since then, popularity for the idea has wandered from the positive to the negative on several occasions, with no one prepared to take the plunge and “have another go”. The royalists of course, have things very much their own way at present, with William, Katherine and, most importantly George, spending some time with us, here in Australia. This little family is so far removed from the traditional pomp and ceremony of the previous royals who have visited our shores that they have won many hearts. Did you notice just this morning, as the couple boarded their plane to head for Adelaide, that William was carrying two bags of luggage himself? Baby stuff I would imagine, but could you see Prince Charles, or Philip doing such a thing?
They wear clothes exactly like the rest of us too – it’s well known that Katherine buys many of her dresses in high street stores, only going to top designers when some very important State occasion needs to be dressed for and demands it, while William is more likely to be seen in an open-necked shirt with no tie than anything else. Once again, one has to compare him to his father, who I can’t recall ever being dressed in such a fashion for public duties! They obviously also find it very easy to chat to people and manage to show genuine interest in everything they hear.
Then there’s George! Obviously, he a very good looking baby, so he has a head start on most of us anyway, but he also appears to be intelligent, interested in the world around him and happy too. In fact he’s just an ordinary kid in every respect other than his lineage. Look how much fun everyone had when he played with other babies in a child-care centre in New Zealand, it was a scene that could be seen in any such establishment, almost anywhere in the world. There can’t be many women in Australia who haven’t said “Awwwww!” or something similar in the past week, with all the delightful pictures of the boy that have appeared he must be one of the best PR tools the royals have owned since… well, since his dad did much the same thing all those years ago, when Charles and Dianne brought him out here with them!
So I would have to say, at the present time at least, the republicans don’t have a hope in hell. The young couple and their baby have done all the right things, in the right places, at the right time, whether by plan or by chance we shall no doubt never know, but they have certainly breathed a new sense on energy and life into the old debate.
It will be interesting to see how long the royalist euphoria lasts, after they have left our shores and set out for home.
What are your thoughts on the new royal family? Do they make you like the monarchy more? Tell us in the comments below…