February 25

Republicans and royalty

We have accordingly warned our supporters, for their own safety, never to stand between a group of republicans and royalty, any royalty. Otherwise you will be knocked over in the rush.

The Australian editorial on 24 February, 2006, “Charmed we’re sure ” discusses this curiosity.

“Although in the end she finally did go through with it, one could be forgiven for mistaking expat feminist extraordinaire Germaine Greer’s curtsy to the Queen for a slight stoop in response to a sudden minor seizure of the lower back….”

“But as much as Greer enjoys sneering at, well, just about …Greer has now joined the ranks of outspoken republicans who have been seduced, however briefly, by the pomp and circumstance of British royalty.”

“Indeed, she is hardly the only one to have fallen into this trap: perhaps the most famous example of this phenomenon would be Richard Butler, who despite his outspoken anti-monarchical views served proudly (if briefly) as Her Majesty’s representative in Tasmania. When he moved into the governor’s mansion in 2003, the man who once called ditching the monarchy "the choice of the century" announced that there was in fact no conflict between his new job and his old opinions. Which was fair enough, so far as it went, but it illustrated the enduring power of what cynics might call the "bread and circuses" power that royalty still holds to bring anti-monarchists on side.

“Republicanism may have faded for the moment, but the visceral pulling power of the Queen clearly hasn’t.”

The subheading on the editorial was prescient:” Palace pomp momentarily wins over republicans”. Certain republican politicians, having flocked to surround The Queen in the vain hope that some of her honour and integrity would rub off, will soon return to their disgraceful attempts to remove every sign and symbol of the Crown in preparation for their planned plebiscitary confidence trick. This is designed to lull the people into reversing their overwhelmingly clear rejection of the republican establishment’s preferred republic in 1999. Have they no shame?


Germaine Greer, The Queen

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