April 5

A Royal Romance

On the eve of the Royal Wedding, the ABC will broadcast an important documentary on the monarchy on 28 April, 2011 at 8.30 pm. This is A Royal Romance, which was written and directed by Trevor James.  This was the subject of a report here in 2009.

The programme will be followed by Q & A, a national debate moderated by Tony Jones: Is the Royal Romance Over?

[ Royal Barge Approaches Farm Cove, 1954]

The announcement from the ABC follows:

In 1954 a young Queen Elizabeth captured the heart of a nation and since then, despite some rocky moments, the romance has endured for many Australians – albeit with an uncertain future for the monarchy after Elizabeth.

Whether they voted for monarchy or president at the 1999 republic referendum, it seems most Australians do like their Queen. ( Continued below)

Image

[ At Bondi Beach, 1954]

 

 

 A Royal Romance explores our unique relationship to Queen Elizabeth via interviews with three former Australian Prime Ministers, republican and monarchist, ordinary Australians who cheered her on the streets of their cities and towns and those close to the Queen in her royal household.

 There are some exceptional Australian icons; Germaine Greer shows how well she can curtsy, Rolf Harris plays Waltzing Matilda as he did on the streets of London during Elizabeth’s coronation, and former republican Prime Minister Paul Keating reveals his fond admiration for a monarch he wanted to sack.

A Royal Romance is the first film to be made on Australia’s relationship to the monarchy in over 30 years.

Through the prism of Elizabeth’s 15 royal tours, Australia’s changing attitudes to the monarchy are unfurled.

Long ago we abandoned singing ‘God Save the Queen’ and began to question the relevance of the monarchy to our daily lives, but many Australians ‐ perhaps even a majority ‐ find it hard to let go of a Head of State who wears a crown half a world away.

It’s not all royal nostalgia. A Royal Romance delves into the emotional flash points – the Whitlam dismissal by the Governor General in 1975, where the fires for constitutional change were lit, the failed 1999 republican referendum, the impact of royal marriage scandals ‐ and then asks what will happen after Elizabeth?

Will her heir, King Charles, see the end of the monarchy in Australia?

Sumptuous archive covering almost 50 years of royal tours to Australia, stylish re‐enactments and compelling interviews – not without their humorous and revealing moments – combine to tell a charming but curious story about a nation that has come of age and at the same time watched and admired a young queen grow old.

Production Details: Produced by Electric Pictures with the assistance of Screen Australia, ScreenWest and ABC Television. Producer & Executive Producer: Andrew Ogilvie. Writer and Director: Trevor Graham.


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