The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh came home-and it was a triumph. Everywhere the reception was warm , and as usual republicans everywhere, including three of the four previous prime ministers, all of whom had campaigned to remove her.
The infantile and vicious could not resist the snub, from the ban on God Save The Queen to the pathetic sop of offering eight bars, and the infantile behabvious of the New South Wales politicians. (A cynical caller to the radio programme I was listening to this morning summed it up-they lie when they are campaigning, they lie in office so why should we be surprised?)
The pièce de résistance was the reaction of the 80,000 people at the Opening Ceremony of the Games – with the exception apparently of Mr Michael Baker of The Age, whose prose I condemn elsewhere. The crowd sung, lustily, Happy Birthday to Their Queen and then rose as one to sing the few permitted bars of God Save The Queen. And for their contribution, we must congratulate that valiant band of monarchists who handed out flyers setting out the words of both our anthems outside the MCG. Not one person rejected them.
Let me conclude with their press release, which is headed : “Royal Anthem – A Resounding Success at the Games!!! “
“Yesterday’s distribution of flyers with the Australian Royal and National Anthems at the Commonwealth Games’ Opening Ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was a resounding success.
"Thousands of Australians accepted flyers with many asking for additional copies to pass onto families and friends.
“Many remarked positively about the inclusion of the Australian Royal Anthem, including Australian Games officials and visitors from other Commonwealth countries.
“Those present at the Opening Ceremony – including journalists who reported on the event – confirmed that many attendees stood and s ang the Australian Royal Anthem.
“It is hoped that, in future, those in positions of authority provide an opportunity for people to show their admiration for our Queen and to celebrate our ‘Crowned Democracy’ – the envy of the world – by singing ‘God Save the Queen’.
“As shown by the Opening Ceremony – and the tremendous reception provided to Her Majesty the Queen throughout her visit – ordinary Australians support the singing of ‘God Save the Queen’ alongside our National Anthem.
“God Save the Queen!