Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens
"…(W)e have been truly blessed with a monarchy honed by centuries of history. Any country thinking of changing that system might take a tip from a gardener. Never uproot any thriving plant or its seedlings and toss them on the compost heap unless you can be sure the replacement will not prove to be a pernicious weed which, given an inch, will run amok and seek to dominate.
It is better to cultivate the tested and tried varieties, so that the scent of roses and jasmine fill the air, creating an oasis of calm where troubled minds can find peace and freedom from care".
This was written by Margaret Stevens, the artist, with a comment on the inside cover of the Summer 2006 edition of ‘This England’. This is the sort of common sense that prevailed over the media and political juggernaut in 1999. As it will if they try it again, provide of course that the constitutional monarchists campaign as strongly as they did then. Our wise gardener preceded this comment with this observation about The Queen’s recent visit to Australia:
"It seems to me that our Queen, having reached a milestone birthday, has been that fairest English Rose for the past 80 years. Anyone who saw on television her recent arrival in Australia could not fail to be stunned by her youthful demeanour and beauty. In the 1950’s no one in their eighties would have worn sunny yellow and white – black, navy blue and grey were the only colours considered appropriate for those of mature years, with perhaps a depressing shade of maroon for special occasions ! "
Thank you, Margaret Stevens for your wise advice – and for putting into words what so many felt when The Queen came home to Australia