We are glorifying an individual when we should be denying the system of Imperial Colinisation she represented despite the Commonwealth.
In 1954, Elizabeth stood at Farm Cove in Sydney, where Captain Arthur Phillip landed in 1788, and celebrated it as the birthplace of the nation. Our consciousness has changed. The Queen saw Australia as a young nation. Now we boast of the oldest continuing occupation by a people.
The crowds got smaller and less voluble with every visit, but Elizabeth cemented the monarchy over the years. If it was not only showmanship, it was attention to detail. John Cain, Victorian premier 1982-90, met her during celebrations for 150 years of Victorian statehood in 1984. ‘’I knew your father,’’ she told him. That was John Cain senior, premier 1952-55. A young monarch might have had other things on her mind. Mind like a steel trap.
King Charles III is an underwhelming prospect for Australians. He is 73, but he could go 20 years. His mother would have ignored many a gentle hint (she was apparently a bit sniffy whenever a European queen would abdicate).
There will be another referendum on a republic, but when?
Elizabeth’s legacy: the enduring Australian monarchy – Michael WestElizabeth’s legacy: the enduring Australian monarchy – Michael West