"I thought I was reading another paper” a friend said.

Since the departure of its great founding Fairfax dynasty, The Sydney Morning Herald has taken to a very strong brand of republicanism.

But in its editorial of 18 October, 2005, Doing It In The Dark, on the birth of a son to the Prince and Princess of Denmark said this:

“Anthropologists might wonder one day why royal families lasted so long. No one who believes in the claims of merit or the pursuit of equality could defend their inherited role.

Yet there may be sound historical and psychological grounds for the monarchy, such as simple sentiment. The Queen provides a sense of stability in an unstable world.

It is 345 years since the British divested their monarchy of the aura of divine right and 150 years since Walter Bagehot wrote of the modern monarchy:

"We must not let daylight in upon magic."

Daylight was let in the 1970s, the magic disappeared and the people discovered a royal family in many ways attractive and in some ways dysfunctional.

The Queen has endured, with dignity, good sense and some humour, while much about her has changed dramatically.

The continued existence of the British Commonwealth owes more to her than to any political leader of the last half-century.”

This is an interesting admission on the magic of monarchy, and on the stability of the monarchical system.

But in addition to the magic of monarchy, and the comfort of stability, the Australian constitutional system. intrinsically monarchical, is vastly superior to anything so far offered by the republicans.

And although not perfect, it is significantly more suited to the needs of this nation than any other system operating in the world today.

As the late and great Dick McGarvie, the former Chief Justice and then Governor of Victoria who proclaimed his neutrality on the republican debate, once said:

"Australians are a wise constitutional people"

And we have been that way throughout our existence.

Until next time,

David Flint