It was my second visit to the beautiful city of Valparaiso in Chile. The young man, who was showing foreigners some of the magnificent buildings in the city, referred with evident pride to the recent visit to Chile of “el Principe Carlos y Camilla”, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Charles recently led a number of meetings in Chile and various Latin American capitals on the issue of sustainable development and the preservation of the rain forests. The Prince of Wales is so highly regarded across the continent that these meetings were atttended by the leaders in each country.
The video on the ACM site shows Prince Charles in Brazil.
Chileans recall that their country owed much of her development to Britain and that as with all of South America, the country was under British protection for the better part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For most of this time, the enforcement of the US Monroe doctrine against European involvement in the Americas was actually left to the Royal Navy.
Informed Chileans, – as well as other Latin Americans – lament the fact that unlike Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and indeed the United States, they did not benefit from two superb institutions from the British. These are first, the rule of law under the common law and second, an evolved system of governance, that “auspicious union of freedom and power” as Thomas Babbington Macaulay so eloquently described it.
The troubled history of each Latin American nation, and the effect this history has had on their economies, the happiness of their peoples and their ability to play an international role demonstrates the crucial difference these gifts have made.
Uniformed and destructive Australian republicans, wanting change for the sake of change, really have to show how their plans for fundamental constitutional change will not have the effect of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That is when they actually deign to tell us what their plans are.
.…Prince Charles: World Leadership beyond politics…
The world wide influence of Prince Charles was then demonstrated during the recent Group of 20 meeting in London. This was when he called – and chaired – a crucial meeting to support one of his many projects, The Prince’s Rain Forest Project. This is about emergency action to cut the deforestation of the rain forests.
Just look at the list of those who came, and ask who else could have done this. The participants included the Indonesian President, the World Bank President, the German Chancellor, the Japanese, Italian, Australian, Guyanese, and Norwegian Prime Ministers, the President of the European Union Commission, Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, the British Foreign Secretary and the Brazilian Foreign Minister.
Encouraged by the Prince, they agreed to establish an expert-level international working group to provide interim emergency funding to help what are called the “Rainforest Nations”. The purpose is to “make the trees worth more alive than dead” before other international financing mechanisms take effect. Whether or not you believe in anthropogenic global warming, few would dissent from the need to preserve the world’s remaining rain forests.
The fact is world leaders take Prince Charles seriously. He follows in the traditions of his father and right back to Albert, the Prince Consort. Prince Charles is providing world leadership beyond politics.
But rather than reporting his role and influence, some shabby journalists and media outlets have prefered to engage in a series of campaigns to caricature the Prince, just as they have tried to do to his father, the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Duke’s major contributions to the preservation of wild life, conservation generally and youth work are ignored by most of the media. Instead they prefer to caricature him as “gaffe prone.” A similar media campaign tries to caricature Prince Charles as a self indulgent eccentric.
Remember, for example, the complete fabrication that he has several eggs boiled for him each morning so that he could select one to his taste. As with these campaigns, the original fabrication or exaggeration goes around the world; the correction is not usually published. Similar campaigns are in place against the young Princes William and Harry.
Attempts were made to do the same to The Queen – just remember the columns of those Australian scribes Mike Carlton and Leo Schofield. The media can be quite Machiavellian too. When Diana, Princess of Wales died, the British tabloids tried to distract attention from their complicity in the actions of the paparazzi by trying to attack The Queen on such matters of import as the flag over the Palace.
…a golden age….
As we have long predicted here, each year The Queen grows in authority and respect. In the future, the years of her long reign will be remembered as a golden age, the second Elizabethan era predicted at the beginning of her reign. Just look at the photos from the G20, and the videos embedded on the ACM site.
Her Majesty is, as youth ambassador young Harry White so cogently put it at the opening of the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne: "You have been the glue that held us all together…in good times and bad times. The love and great affection that we all hold for you is spread across one third of the world's population".
(This was the occasion when our crass republicans tried unsuccessfully to suppress our Australian Royal Anthem, and some young monarchists distributed the text to those attending. The crowd stood as one to join with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in singing eight bars.)
…Our Australian Royal Family…
The Queen and the Royal Family have long demonstrated their care, concern and interest in the Australian nation and its people. The latest indication was the presence of the Prince and the Duchess at the memorial for the bushfire and flood victims at Westminster Abbey. Once again, Australians would do well to remember there is no early superannuation here, no golden handshakes, and no rorts. The Royal Family does not even campaign to keep the monarchy – it is our decision The Queen says. But Her Majesty has confirmed that as long as we wish, she will continue to serve as she has for over half the life of our nation.
We have a superb Royal Family, ready, indeed eager, to serve. The Canadians, led obviously by clever people of integrity, know this. The Royal Family plays a significant role in Canadian affairs, and on great occasions, in the representation of Canada overseas. The Queen of Canada and those in the line of succession to the Canadian throne have obtained a level of international standing and respect and an internal cohesion which is unequalled.
Canada’s leaders know this. So do New Zealand’s. (Indeed New Zealand has just announced that eminent New Zealanders will obtain the international respect which is their due with the restoration of the sort of title that Sir Edmund Hillary and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa have worn with pride).
So why don’t Australia’s leaders do the same and put aside their half baked, unformulated republicanism and remember the people had firmly rejected the politicians’ republic a long decade ago. We remain a very fortunate indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown. We are a crowned but we are not – and show no wish to be – a politician’s republic.
The politicians, from the Prime Minister down would be wise not to forget this.