The deadly Victorian bushfires in February 2009, were a horrific reminder of just how natural disasters can occur.
It is wonderful to have Princess Anne as the Queen’s representative and daughter visit the fire ravaged areas. Princess Anne told the remembrance ceremony: “Individuals and towns have responded with resilience, ingenuity, courage and selflessness to situations that were changing at terrifying speed. “People from around Australia and across the world watched in horror but with admiration at their response. “
We do indeed thank her for taking the time to visit…
But where was our Queen of Australia?
And if the Queen is unable to journey to the antipodes, where was the second in line for the throne, the man who actually went to school in the fire ravaged state of Victoria.
Where was HRH The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, the future King of Australia?
In 2005 when hurricane Katrina devastated Southern Florida, President Bush took time out from his busy schedule to visited the stricken states of his country.
Does Victoria only warrant a visit from the 10th in line for the Throne?
Where is our Head of State?
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I must admit I did not think I had skirted the question but I certainly like the comparison to dan carter because when the girls look at me they reach for their toffee pops…if I dragged my middle-aged bulk onto the footy paddock I would be flattened in half a sec. Charles was not needed as the GG and Anne fulfilled both the professional and personal role of the Australian HoS. Where was Charles when the Governor-General and Anne were in attendance?…I don’t know – maybe have a chinwag with the Brussel Sprouts in Highgrove’s Kitchen Garden?
“The people” is such a difficult concept to define and can be hijacked by evildoers to their end….Hitler’s “Ein Volk; Ein Vaterland”, Communism etc.
For any presidency to be accepted by the public in either Australia or NZ I think that the role of the politicians would have to be minimal…therefore a nationwide ballot using the preferential system. State by state voting may cause frictions if there were widely different results.
I dont think any republican model would improve on the democracy, rule of law and political stability that Australia currently enjoys! In actuality, The PM is elected and dictates what the HoS and GG do.
Under the current system, what do you think would happen if the Queen decided to ignore convention and ignore the PM’s advice on who to appoint as GG?
G’day Bill, welcome back.
The question is…(which I note you skirted with all the elusiveness of Dan Carter:)
Where was Charles?
The question you ask in you next post (and we have an even more dyed in the wool republican opposition leader) is that your comment does quite a disservice to the office of PM. I believe that the Queen has a huge amount of respect by a vast majority of Australians, and to belittle her would be tanamount to political suicide.
But, I also believe that the PM of either side, will act with decorum and respect whatever system is in place.
(As was shown by Prime Minister Whitlam when he was sacked by the GG, Sir John Kerr in 1975. Whitlam was furious, but he “played the game” and stood aside. What might have happened if Whitlam instead sacked the GG and called the troops out? — Please don’t respond, it’s not the direction I wish to take — but just showing an example of what I mean.
Thanks for your comments.
Out of curiosity, what did you think of the actual point of this blog? The concept of “the people” and selecting candidates for the HoS, then voting on those candidates state by state and then politicians from the various House of Reps selecting / voting for a HoS?
As opposed to the PM appointing a HoS or a popular election Australia wide?
On a slghtly different tack – Since Australia now has an avowedly dyed-in-the-wool republican as PM, he could advise the monarch and G-G to act in a way that would bring further disrepute to the monarchy. That has not happened here but I imagine if he could divorce the symbol of the monarchy from the government, he could be tempted not to do the monarchy any favors and as PM advising the Sovereign he could have detrimental influence.
Whilst The G-G is not the HoS of Australia I think it was right and proper that the Queen of Aus should have been represented by the G-G rather than another member of the Royal family no matter how senior. After all in respects to Australia apart from the sovereign, no other member of the royal family has any constitutional role. Whilst the g-g on appointment by the QoA discharges the role of HoS on behalf of the Queen.
Princess Anne was in Australia to represent the Queen PERSONALLY. The Governor-General was representing the Queen OFFICIALLY as s/he always does. The PM of the day advises both the G-G and HoS how, when and what to say in any official capacity.
The Princess Anne whilst constitutionally being 10th in line to the British throne (and therfore to the Australian throne)still remains (I think)the most senior princess in other respects.
I do not know how a comparison with the American system can be made.
Can anyone tell me if the Head Of State of the UK (or NZ, PNG, Jamaica, Canada etc. for that matter) can ever make a State Visit to Australia? Is it the case that Queen Elizabeth ii when she sets foot in Australia must always act as Queen of Australia? Or could she tour Australia as Queen of New Zealand?
The Queen was not invited to Open the Olympic Games. I imagine she was obviously not made to feel welcome on what is normally an occasion for the Head of State’s involvement. So selectively you expect her to come over for another momentous event. The Queen is expected for tragedy but not celebration. Damned if she comes over and damned if she does not.
The Queen has a fulltime representative in Australia – The Governor-General. The Princess Royal – the Most senior Brit Princess – did come over and there was not a equine event around! I am surpried you did not criticise that for the taxpayer money spent.
Sadly, you miss the point. They were perfectly valid and fair questions.
There is nothing in this post ‘damning’ Princess Anne or the Queen. In fact I admire them both. QEII is a fine example of what a Monarch can and should be and, ironically, if Princess Anne was next in line, I’d be a lot less of a republican than I am. But she isn’t and I am!
As you rightfully say, the Governor General (Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce) is the Queen’s representative in Australia. But she is not our Head of State.
As far as you statement… ” The Princess Royal – the Most senior Brit Princess – did come over… ”
Yes, HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne,) is a Brit. You are correct. Princess Anne is not an Australian. But you should check all your facts. There are Princesses Beatrice & Eugenie and the Lady Louise Windsor are ahead of The Princess Royal in the line of succession to the British throne.
Here is the batting order… I mean the line of succession:
1. HRH The Prince of Wales B (The Prince Charles; b 1948), son of Queen Elizabeth II
2. HRH Prince William of Wales B (b 1982), son of The Prince of Wales
3. HRH Prince Henry of Wales B (b 1984), son of The Prince of Wales
4. HRH The Duke of York B (The Prince Andrew; b 1960), son of Queen Elizabeth II
5. HRH Princess Beatrice of York B (b 1988), daughter of The Duke of York
6. HRH Princess Eugenie of York B (b 1990), daughter of The Duke of York
7. HRH The Earl of Wessex B (The Prince Edward; b 1964), son of Queen Elizabeth II
8. James, Viscount Severn B (b 2007), son of The Earl of Wessex
9. Lady Louise Windsor B (b 2003), daughter of The Earl of Wessex
10. HRH The Princess Royal B (The Princess Anne; b 1950), daughter of Queen Elizabeth II
11. Peter Phillips B (b 1977), son of The Princess Royal
As you can see, HRH The Princess Royal is 10th in line. A very famous 10th in line, but 10th in line nevertheless. Not our head of State, and unlikely to be so. Having Princess Anne to Australia is much the same as Gary Locke (the 10th in line for the US presidency) tour New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The questions remain:
Where was the Head of State? In all fairness I understand the Queen not travelling because of her age. That begs the next question:
Where was Prince Charles? The first in line for the throne. Where was the future Head of State, the man who went to school in the State of Victoria in 1965?
If Prince Charles can’t make it to the worst bushfires in memory to show his support to the very people he is next in line to be King, if he can’t find time to make it to the same state he went to school in, then I find it difficult to offer my respect to him as our future Head of State.
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