September 21

Vive “la royal republic”

This was the headline to Joe Hildebrand’s satirical column in The Daily Telegraph of 19 September 2009. This is in the high circulating newspaper’s popular “Sydney Confidential” pages. (Edited by Annette Sharpe much of it is not accessible on the web)

“Remember when people gave rat’s about whether we became a republic or not and then everyone got all worked up about Japanese whaling instead,” he asked. “Well , Australians for Constitutional Monarchy haven’t forgotten and neither has John Howard.”


“The former PM has come out of retirement with a speech entitled “The Crowned Republic” a revolutionary call to arms in which he will argue thta Australia’s system of government should not change at all.”
 Mr Hildebrand reported that the November 5 Tattersall’s luncheon will commemorate 10 years since the republic idea was “white anted” by a coalition of monarchists ( “nice old ladies who like scones”) and direct electionists (“puffy-chested thought criminals who went and stabbed a nation in the back”). 

He reported that the event was announced by ACM’s “immaculately groomed convenor David Flint, who wrote in praise of the world’s second-handsomest JH: ‘Although they now blame him for their loss, John Howard at all times treated the republicans honourably and fairly – compare that with Paul Keating’s Republic Advisory Committee or Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit.’”

Mr. Hildebrand has some fun with my syntax. “We are surprised to learn that republicans were treated unfairly at either of these events, but we’ll take the professor’s word for it.”

Très amusant, Mr. Hildebrand. But rather than Vive la royal republic,  the words of your headline, shouldn’t it be, Vive la république royale?

Now, there is a bistrot in Paris called “Le Royal République” but more appropriately, in 1894, Raymond Auzias-Turenne’s book  “République Royale”  was published in Montreal. His theme was that the best form of government in the world was not the elective monarchy of the USA, but the République Royale of Britain and of New France, that is, Canada.

In any event. Mr. Hildebrand  reports that “ The Crowned Republic, is also the name of a project the monarchists plan to roll out in schools and universities, a move that will no doubt go down well with student socialists.”


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