Readers will probably remember the vicious media campaign against Prince Charles when he announced he would wed Camilla Parker-Bowles. The republican movement went into overdrive thinking this was their momento de verdad, their moment of truth. But as this column reported on 12 April, 2006, the wedding service was beautiful, the guests were fascinating, the bride beautiful, she and the groom dignified, and the family superb. Only the republican media seemed dysfunctional.
As we said then, what left the commentariat with vast amounts of egg on their face, the ARM without its silver bullet to destroy our Constitution, and our oath breaking politicians looking even more discredited than they presently are, is that ,at a very low rating time- very early on a Sunday morning- almost one and a half million Australians watched the service on TV.
(Incidentally, a reader in London has just emailed me to say “…Camilla has received a very favourable press on the way she conducted herself on the recent tour with Charles to the Middle East. One male and an Australian lady reporter have indicated that they have completely changed heir minds about Camilla, when previously they were opposed to her in very strong terms. If she continues, as it is clear she will, she will be home on the pig’s back”)
And now those who argued the Commonwealth Games are irrelevant also have egg on their faces. The Opening Ceremony attracted a national TV audience of two and three quarter million Australians at a peak viewing time. It was, by far, the top TV programme that week.
The Games went off very well, and all concerned are to be congratulated, except for the attempted breach of Australian protocol in the decision to ban the playing of God Save The Queen. As you will recall, the day after this was announced the organizers decided to “reveal” they had actually planned to play a few bars.
Last night, at a function, a man who was there told me that when Dame Kiri sang Happy Birthday, about 90% of the crowd, without any invitation to do so, stood, faced The Queen and joined in. When Dame Kiri went into God Save The Queen, almost everyone stood and boomed out the words. He said you could feel the love and affection for The Queen across the stadium of 80,000 people. I can imagine how the Mike Carltons and other cranky republicans reacted at home who had planned to politicize the Games.
A special note of thanks to those young constiutional monarchists who distributed several thousand copies of both anthems outside the MCG.
The crowd obviously didn’t think our Royal Anthem is too British, just as most Australians don’t think the flag too British, our legal and political system too British or our language too British. The average Australian is endowed with too much commonsense to think otherwise.
The rank and file Australian honours and respects The Queen of Australia. And we all know what they think of republican politicians.