The recent visit of Prince William was by any measure a great success not only for him and those core institutions, the Australian and New Zealand Crowns, but financially for Australia and New Zealand.
Despite the ungracious complaint about the visit by the republican leader, as the video below shows, the republican movement glosses over the fact that unlike a political president and vice president and similar politicians at the state and territory level we pay nothing – nothing – to the Royal Family. · ·
…extraordinary return from Royal Visit…
Even in the United Kingdom the Royal Family more than pays for itself. The monarch’s properties in the Crown Estate more than cover the funds provided by the British Government, not as salaries, but for state expenses properly incurred. This also covers the running costs of The Queen of Australia as well as providing a very handsome profit for the British government. And that government has behaved appallingly, leaving heritage buildings in a dangerous state. That ought to at least remind people never to increase the power of the politicians in a politicians’ republic.
There is another factor which trumps the predicable republican whingeing over the costs of a visit which was paid mainly by The Queen. Tourism returns for a Royal Visit are substantial – Australia gets worldwide attention at this time, and unlike tourism advertisements, it is free.
Tourism Australia spent about $100 million on tourism promotion last year, the industry earning about $25 billion from overseas tourism. Professor Noel Cox from Monarchy New Zealand points out a single full page advertisement in The Times in London is expensive – Aus$45,000.
Imagine what we gained from the international media attention about the visit, and just recall the effect of the “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign and you will understand what I mean.
The coverage by Sky News meant, along with the BBC that the visit was followed on their networks and then by others. The radio, newspaper and magazine reporting was impressive, and not only in the English speaking world.
Two videos follow from the State Visit to New Zealand. They are on the opening of the Supreme Court of New Zealand, and the speech delivered there.
…constitutional understanding in France…
The leading French weekly Point de Vue had an illustrated report which described the visit as a triumph beyond all hopes. The Royalist site Gotha de France reported that he was given an enthusiastic reception. It was interesting that they grasped immediately the constitutional position in Australia, reporting that the Prince was received by the Governor-General, “chef d'Etat de l'Australie, une monarchie constitutionnelle”, the head of state .
In the meantime the London Sun (28/1) decided to be creative. Using a photo of the Prince beside a vacant throne, the journalistic imagination created the headline: “ Wills eyes his future job.” The story began “Prince William casts a longing glance at an empty throne yesterday – looking like he was dreaming of the day he'll sit on one.”
This is fiction, not fact. Are you surprised?