There can be no doubt that The Queen is held in great respect by the rank and file Australian. Those who denigrate her -the Mike Carltons, Leo Schofields, Meredith Burgmanns ( Dr. Meredith Burgmann is President of the NSW Legislative Council)- are in a tiny minority. We included in this column on 18 April,2006 a powerful eyewitness account of the respect and admiration shown by the 80,000 crowd at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. This could leave no one in any doubt as to how Australians feel.
And now the recent TV programme on 23 April, 2006 about Rolf Harris and his painting of The Queen attracted a record nationwide TV audience of 1.28 million. This was the largest audience for this slot this year, and larger than any ABC audience for any programme in the preceding week.
Last year, on 12 April 2005 , this column reported that, against the predictions of the commentariat and the attempts of the republicans to denigrate them, an enormous nationwide TV audience had watched the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla. This was early on Sunday morning when most Australians are usually in bed or they are not at home.
Now we know that internet and phone- in polls do not seriously claim that they can accurately assess the views of the population. But a very strong poll one way or the other is difficult to ignore. A poll (21/4) on SKY NEWS coinciding with The Queen’s Birthday remained solidly in favour of the Australian Monarchy with 70% of participants saying yes to the question "Will the Australian Monarchy stay beyond the Queen?"
Even republicans now say that there can be no republic during the present reign. Some people do not seem to understand that one reign passes seamlessly into another. After all, we are not a republic!