Diamond Jubilee- Sydney celebrates
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Image This is a report in the Diamond Jubilee section of the ACM site.

"It was like the old days," observed Peter Coleman in his regular column “Australian Notes,” in the influential journal, Spectator Australia 11 February 2012.


Peter Coleman has been a member of both the New South Wales and Federal parliaments, a Minister of the Crown and Her Majesty's Leader of the Opposition in New South Wales.  He has edited The Bulletin And Quadrant and is a well-known writer and journalist.  If there's someone interesting speaking in Sydney, the chances are Peter Coleman- a most civilised man -will be there and he will report it with style and unusual perception.

...a good year for monarchists....

“Everyone was lustily singing ‘God save our gracious Queen’ and toasting Her Majesty. (‘God bless her!’) It was a lunch meeting in Parliament House, Sydney, of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, called to celebrate the accession of the Queen on 6 February 60 years ago.

“ It has been a good year for the monarchists in the NSW Parliament, following the wipe-out of the republican Labor government last March. The Oath of Allegiance to the Crown has been restored as an option for newly elected MPs. (Cheers.)

“The portrait of the Queen has been returned to the Strangers’ Dining Room. (Loud cheers.) Arrangements have been settled for the return of the Governor to Government House in the near future. (Jubilation.)

“But there are tougher issues still to be settled, which Professor Anne Twomey outlined in her address. At CHOGM in Perth last year the 13 heads of monarchist governments agreed at long last to amend the relevant statutes to remove discrimination against women and Catholics.

He explains that at present a son takes precedence over an older daughter in succession to the throne, and the son cannot succeed to the throne if he is a Catholic or married ‘a papist’.

He makes the point is that however  popular  these reforms will be, they are more easily announced than enacted. In Australia they will require the consent of the states, which will enthusiastically support them but will, rightly, not trust the Commonwealth and will not agree to statutory amendments which may sound fine but will reduce their rights and powers.

He refers to the old obligation of the sovereign in England to be ‘in communion with’ (but not necessarily a member of) the Church of England. What exactly does that mean?

"Even the great question of who curtseys to whom under new arrangements will have to be examined in depth! Enough to keep constitutional lawyers busy for years. So do not expect these overdue changes to be rushed through the Parliaments any time soon.

... confessional footnote....

Peter Coleman concludes with a “confessional footnote: it is a common prejudice that your committed monarchist is likely be Anglican.

Not really, he says pointing out that at the lunch the Hon. Ken Handley AO, formerly of the NSW Court of Appeal and a leading Anglican (Chancellor of the Sydney Diocese), noted how many leaders of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy have been Catholics including Kerry Jones, David Clarke MLC and Thomas Flynn — not to mention Tony Abbott.

“Perhaps they believe, as the Irish politician Conor Cruise O’Brien put it: if the Queen goes, God will be next.”

I like the old saying, "Where there's a throne there’s an altar.” Its a good one to convey to some anglican clergymen who try to shock you by declaring what they conceive as their fashionable republicanism.