Monday, February 28, 2005

The magic of monarchy

I guess Americans will never understand it but there is something very basic in the human psyche that responds to monarchy.  And Europe’s monarchies are some of the world’s most civilized and stable places.  Because of its still-close ties with Britain (over a million out of 20 million of Australia’s current population were born in Britain), Australia is a monarchy and I am myself a strong supporter of the monarchy.  A few years ago Australia had a constitutional referendum in which there was a strong case made for converting Australia to a republic but the Australian people gave that a decisive thumbs-down —two thirds voted to keep the Queen as our head of State.
Recently, Australians got another dose of Royalty-fever.  A Sydney girl met the Danish Crown Prince in a bar and subsequently married him.  So she is now a real-life Princess—of Denmark.  The following news report just in tells a bit more about how strong a grip Royalty still has on people’s thoughts and feelings here in Australia.  Even those who advocated a Republic at our referendum now are falling over themselves just to be in the presence of Princess Mary.

“The allure of rubbing shoulders with royalty was too much to resist even for some of Sydney’s best-know republicans yesterday as the city’s great and good turned out for lunch with Danish Crown Princess Mary and her husband, Prince Frederik. Republican NSW Premier Bob Carr played host as Princess Mary and Prince Frederik sat at the same table as Gough and Margaret Whitlam - both firm republicans. The 140 hand-picked guests at the lunch at Sydney’s Governor Macquarie Tower also included Sydney’s republican archbishop, George Pell. Mr Carr told guests it was not surprising the 33-year-old princess had married into a royal family, given her home state’s support for the monarchy at the 1999 republic referendum”.

Full story here