Saturday 2 June 2012

The Diamond Jubilee - A Republican's View

by lizsmith on Flickr  
Don't get me wrong, I am very fond of our Queen and Royal Family. I swell with pride when I pass Buckingham Palace. My beloved grandmother was a Royalist, and always wanted me to move to England, she'd be thrilled that I live here, have married here, and have a child. Her sister attended a Buckingham Palace Garden Party well before I was even thought of. Much to my own amusement I went to school with a now Princess, Princess Mary of Denmark, she was in my year, in my school!

In 1999 Australia held a referendum asking if we would ditch the monarch and accept a President as our head of state. Like many other Australians I voted no, to retain the consitutional monarchy. It stuck in my throat to do so, as I believe strongly that the Royal Family are expensive, are figureheads and don't serve a political or governmental role in Australia. However, the model that was proposed was inadequate, and undermined our Constitution, which works just fine. I didn't think a President, that was not popularly elected, was enough difference to warrant such a change. The referendum was a missed opportunity.

So in our house, there are no celebrations tomorrow. No flag waving, not even a Victoria sponge in sight. I grew up with a urban myth perpetuated by my mother and I'm not sure how true it is, that my mother was in labour on the 2nd of June with me, and was determined I would not be born on the anniversary of the Coronation, and held on until 1.03am the following day.

I do feel somewhat churlish that we are not celebrating today. I wonder whether in future years my son will be disappointed that we didn't mark the Silver Jubilee, although they did make crowns at preschool today! I've walked passed shops full of tat for the past month, and resisted the Jubilee cupcakes and teapots and other paraphenalia. I was, however, tempted by a Queen and Prince Philip set of garden gnomes.

I have to say, I can't imagine the United Kingdom without the monarchy, I can't visualise what a republic would look like, and I don't think I'll ever see the demise of the monarchy in my lifetime. However in my heart, I remain a republican Australian, so no jingoistic flagwaving from me today. Besides which I'll be at work!

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade and hope for those who are celebrating it's a happy day full of sunshine, cake and Pimm's!


  1. Kylie it's the diamond not silver jubilee!! I understand how you feel - grew up in an anti royalist house but even I feel slightly patriotic this weekend!! Enjoy your birthday!

  2. I lied. At 6.30 pm, after 12 hours of labour I was well and truly ready to welcome you but I lingered on until the day Billy Jo McAllister jumped off the Tallahachi Bridge.