A lesson on the letter Q has led to a brush with royalty for Year 1 children at Newman College, in Floreat, writes Peta O’Sullivan in The Sunday Times of 22 October 2006 (“Queen's reply to class right on Q”)
Matthew Blake, of ACM’s Western Australian Branch, who told us about the report, says that Newman College is a Catholic school in the western suburbs of Perth.
When the children returned from their holidays they found a letter from Buckingham Palace awaiting them.
"They were so excited about it," said teacher Mrs. Annette Rose. Ms. O’Sullivan reports that the royal correspondence was in response to letters the children had written to The Queen as part of an exercise on the letter Q.
Mrs Rose said: "All the Year Ones were learning about the letter Q, so I mocked up an A3 sheet with a crown at the top and got the kids to write letters to the Queen".
The letters asked "Who cleans the palace?", "Do you get sick of waving all the time?" and "Do you like the King?"
Mrs Rose had no intention of sending the letters to the Queen and was as surprised as the children at the reply.
But when one of the mothers, Andrea Whitely saw them in her daughter's classroom, she told Mrs Rose that she would be visiting Highgrove and would try to give them to Prince Charles and ask him to pass them on to The Queen.
The royal response, passing on The Queen's best wishes and congratulating the children on their beautiful work, was from The Queen's lady-in-waiting, Susan Hussey.
The report is accompanied by a photograph by Richard Hatherly, taken on 18 October, 2006, of an excited group of children with the letter and with a portrait of their Queen.
…wait until the old die off, says republican minister…
We reported in this column on 13 March, 2006 the brutal words of the Hon.Nicola Roxon, the federal shadow attorney general in Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition:
"There are no new monarchists being born," she said, only months after swearing or affirming her allegiance to the Sovereign.
"If we bide our time they will all die off…”
She reflected the views of many republicans, most frequently expressed by former senator and minister, the Hon. Susan Ryan.
The recent opinion poll among WA youth, which we reported in this column on 6 September 2006, shows that support for a republic among the youth has collapsed. We suspect this must have introduced a dose of reality into republican ranks.
[ The picture above was taken by Richard Hatherly at Newman College, Floreat, Perth, on 18 October, 2006. Left to right are 7 year old Sebastian Faugno, 6 year old Harrison Delaporte, 6 year old Catherine Whitely and 6 year old Eloise Krikstolaitis, all grade 1 students at Newman College with the letter they received from Buckingham Palace after the class sent letters to the Queen]