Sources from the Australian and New Zealand governments have confirmed that the newly married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will pay a royal visit to Australia and New Zealand early next year. An official announcement is expected after the couple returns from their visit to Canada next month, reports Daryl Bruce from Toronto.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key both offered invitations to the royal couple to visit their respective countries.
The visits are planned to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year, which will mark 60 years of The Queen's reign.
“Prince William cannot be faulted for what he has said and done during this tour, nor can it be denied that his visit has lifted the spirits of those who turned out to see him,” admits the editor of The Age (22/3)
“With the significant exception of Queensland's Premier, Anna Bligh, Australian politicians who have visited the disaster areas have not notably managed to do the same.”
The editor is clearly worried “This tour will inevitably be seized on by advocates of the monarchy as a vindication of the institution and Australia's residual ties to it,” he laments.He asserts this will not change Australia's republican debate.
....we didn’t in 1999....
In 1999, the republicans attacked us for not mentioning The Queen. We argued only on the basis of the constitution, not on the well known virtues of the Sovereign. Just look at the No case distributed to every voter, and the ACM publications “The No case Papers,” and “The Cane Toad Republic.”Mr. Editor we did not argue on the virtues of the Sovereign.
And Mr. Editor, in spite of The Age’s passionate attempt to promote the 1999 flawed republican model, the people, nationally, in every State and 72% of electorates rejected it.And please don’t tell us John Howard manipulated it. There were more republicans than monarchists at the Convention, including more nominated delegates. The referendum legislation – the title of which constituted the referendum question - was approved by a Parliament overwhelmingly dominated by republicans.
In fact about two thirds of both houses were republicans.
Those of us who have firmly believed that we would see our country one day cut its ties to the old country and stand alone as a republic now realise this is not going to happen at any time in the foreseeable future, writes 3AW Melbourne radio host Peter Maher. (Prince's visit stabilises monarchy? 3AW 21/2). He continues:-
The republic cause has just been decimated in the last three of four days and it has been courtesy of one of those royal family members who now seem destined to reign for another 100 years at least.
...rosy coloured view...
Mr. Maher has a rosy coloured view of the status of the republican push prior to Prince William’s visit. The monarchists were on their knees he says because of Prince Charles and his father.
Hardly. The 1999 referendum defeat was a landslide. The polls were falling. On botha vague politicians republic and what was thought to be the popular model support was in the low forties. After a debate and the unveiling of a preferred model that would fall further – it always does in referendums.
The republicans could not work out what they want. They still can’t. The politicians talked vainly of leaving it until the next reign.
Aboriginal elder Esther Kirby from Kerang Victoria says she would like to see a king of Australia once again. "I think it's fantastic," she told The Australian’s Stuart Rintoul as she waited for the prince to arrive.
"He's his mother's son, I think -- a new generation."
Would she like to see a republic?
"No, I think we should have a king," she said. But young King William, not old King Charles, "because he's young and cute".
Prince William has ended his Australasian natural disaster tour with crash courses in Aussie Rules and Victorian floods, reported the 24 News broadcaster Sky News on 21 March 2011.
Having witnessed the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake and the Queensland floods, Prince William visited the flood-ravaged communities of Kerang, Benjeroop and Murrabit in the state's north on Monday.
He endeared himself to the locals who, as well as enduring a flood that is still lingering, have been hit in recent years by a locust plague and a train crash that killed 11 people.
'Having him here was just the tonic for us all,' said Sid Hutchinson from Kerang.
'We've all been through a bit and we've all worked bloody hard to keep this town going.'
The prince's day in Kerang began with a briefing on January's floods and the massive local effort that saved the town from the floodwater that covered almost a quarter of the state.