March 21

Camilla – No Constitutional Implications For Australia

The current argument about the status of Prince Charles wife on his accession has no constitutional implications for Australia. She will not become Queen of Australia. The Royal Titles Act, 1954, only confers a title on the reigning sovereign. Of course she will be welcomed here and accorded all appropriate courtesies, said Professor David Flint, National Convener of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

Apparently, a British MP is arguing that legislation for the title Princess Consort will be needed in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the other Realms, as well as the UK. Whatever the position in Britain, the title of the sovereign’s spouse has never been a matter requiring Australian legislation.

There is no point in the republican movement arguing this advances their case.

After all, they failed when they raised it in 1999.Australians were not impressed with those tactics then, and they will not be impressed if they are used today. It does not help or hide the republican movements convoluted and very expensive proposal, which Mark Latham took to the last election. This is, believe it or not, for two plebiscites and another referendum!

This is no more than republicanism by exhaustion and the taxpayer will be asked to pay for it! This is to culminate in the Latham model- a model which, serious republicans warn, would be a constitutional disaster!

As the late Dick McGarvie, a former Governor of Victoria put it; Australians are a wise constitutional people. In the 1999 referendum, the people voted on the constitutional issues, not, as the republican movement argued then, on the courtesy title of the spouse of a future monarch. Constitutional monarchists remain consistent with the position they took in 1999. They did not rely then, nor do they rely now, on the obvious personal qualities and standing of The Queen, but rather on the qualities and advantages of our existing constitutional system.

Until next time,
David Flint


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