Royal letter to Aboriginal elder
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 01 April 2010

We were surprised when a copy of a letter came to us was dated the 8th of March 2010 from Prince William’s secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton at St. James’s Palace to Mick Mundine of the Redfern Community Centre. As they say, it  must have,  fallen off the back of a truck.

It showed the care and concern Prince William has for Australia and its indigenous inhabitants. It is wonderful for our cause, the cause of defending our ancient constitutional system and supporting the family which has for so long rendered such impeccable and disinterested service to the nation.



Were Prince William a politician,  he would have revealed the contents of the letter at a press conference in time for the evening TV news. He might have copied some of our republican politicians who never stop dressing for the theme, for example. as builders at new sites or as surgeons in hospitals. 

As the subject of the letter related to a search for human remains, Prince William could have slipped on, say,  a police officer’s cap or dressed like Sherlock Homes.

Image

He didn’t. After all, the The Crown is above politics. The letter was not there for effect, to win votes as a president might, or even to shore up our oldest institution, the Australian Crown.

Instead the letter was boldly marked ” Private and  confidential.”  That stopped us in our tracks.

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy would be the last people in the Commonwealth of Australia to breach a Royal injunction or betray a Royal confidence.

So regretfully, we decided to do....nothing.



...Royal Letter in the public arena...



But now   The Sydney Morning Herald (1/4), AAP and the ABC (1/4) have published the story behind the letter, and the Herald has even posted the letter on its site. (We still can’t bring ourselves to publish it)

It related to an Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy  who led  a guerrilla campaign  against  settlers at Toongabbie, Parramatta and the Hawkesbury River for more than a decade  before he was shot, decapitated and his head sent to England.

Image

When Prince William was in Sydney Aboriginal elders at Redfern asked him return the missing skull.

The Prince was deeply moved by the story and his secretary has initiated what he describes as a ''supremely important search''.  He has certainly thrown himself into the task. But the skull remains missing and may have been destroyed in a war time bombing.  But there is still hope.

The letter, as we have said, can be seen on the Herald site.









... “the heart and spirit of his mother”: Aboriginal elder...



 

Aboriginal elder Mr.Mick Mundine told Josephine Tovey from the Herald that he was surprised when he opened the letter and saw the royal insignia.  ''For Prince William to give us the recognition, and send us the letter back, that shows respect,'' he said.

 "It was a blessing and a bit of a shock when we got the letter but that just shows what sort of a man this Prince William could be," he told AAP’s Dean Lewins.

''For Prince William to give us the recognition, and send us the letter back, that shows respect. "For Aboriginal people, it will heal part of the wound and I think it will bring this bridge much better amongst Australian and Aboriginal people."It'll be just a blessing to get that good spirit flowing around Australia."

"He's such a respectful young man. I think he's got the heart and the spirit of his mother and he's showed it," he said

."He respected not just Aboriginal people in Redfern but he respected everyone that was there on the day."

"I just hope that we can really heal the wound and bring the good spirit to flow right across Australia."

 

Image
[The Prince's Table,Royal Botanic Gardens January 2010, left to right: Ian Thorpe, Prince William, Premier Kristina Keneally, Jai Martinkovits, Major.Lowther-Pinkerton]