“Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall completed a demanding and successful visit to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee,” declared the editor of The Australian in “Charles duchesses the public” (12/11/12)
The Australian was the republican flagbearer in 1999, leading most of the media into the Turnbull- Keating politicians' republic. Now most of the media agree on the points in the editorial.
“ From outback Queensland to Bondi Beach, from the Melbourne Cup to Canberra's War Memorial, the royal couple experienced some of the places, events and institutions at the heart of Australia's national character.
“Over six days, the visitors covered five states and the Australian Capital Territory as they set a cracking pace while appearing calm and relaxed throughout.
"Despite a modest build up, and perhaps low expectations, public interest was substantial – the visit widely reported nationally and dominating local news coverage at each destination.
"There were no slip-ups, embarrassments or incidents, and the Prince of Wales proved to be the very model of a modern heir to the throne. And Australians seem to welcome and warm to him as such.
“Given the trials that have beset the royal family, and the prince in particular, critics have been quick to point to him as a weakness in the line of succession.
"His mother, the Queen , has earned deep and longstanding respect and admiration from Australians, and the dashing young couple of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have added a new level of excitement and interest for royal watchers.
"Given the tragic events surrounding Charles's first marriage and the death of Princess Diana, some feared the public might not warm to his new wife and lifelong friend Camilla. But the graceful way she fulfilled her duties on this visit – and the way the public responded – has consigned such doubts to history.”
…rethink by republicans…
The editorial reflects an increasing view among republicans that mocking the Royal Family and constitutional monarchists was not endearing them to the Australian people and was indeed counterproductive. This will not persuade the recalcitrant to change their ways, but will isolate them even more from the mainstream.
The editors of The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald are at last now agreed that the end of the reign will not be the silver bullet that delivers some sort of politicians’ republic.
“Author and avowed republican Tom Keneally was right and wise to recognise this reality and to promote a rethink by advocates of constitutional reform,” the editor continued.
“Keneally admits the mocking tone of previous republican debates has been counter-productive and that the case needs to be made in a more reasoned and less acrimonious way.
"Indeed, the idea promoted by some republicans that once the current monarch hands over to her heir the tide will turn seems to be misplaced optimism on their part.”The Australian is not ready to abandon its republicanism, at least not yet. In our view it is a mistake to see the republican agenda as a constitutional reform .
"How, we ask, will the governance of Australia be improved by a politicians’ republic? To answer that we would at least need to see the details.We hesitate to say “the” republic is dead. It is certainly comatose.
The editor concludes “ The personal character of the current royals seems to be as resilient as the institution itself. So the case for constitutional reform, which this newspaper continues to support, must be made over time and on its merits – not centred on personalities or denigration.”