Saturday, June 6, 2009

You're job is safe, ma'am. Your sons, however ...

In two days time it will be the Queen’s Birthday public holiday in Queensland. Most 84 years olds are long retired, but not that trouper the Queen. But the Queen displays similarly robust health to her mother and there's no sign of her standing down.

In 2006 rehearsals began for the first time after midnight in the heart of London for the Queen's funeral. As happened for her mother when she also reached about 80, a mock funeral march has been staged. They'll do it every year. In the case of the Queen Mother, they'd had lots of practice by the time she died at 101.

During the Queen’s last trip to Australia during the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Australia's then Prime Minister John Howard stated "I don't believe Australia will become a republic while the Queen is on the throne. Beyond that, I don't know". This was code that this may be her last visit.

But please let's not have any more visits from Prince Charles. His 2005 visit was lacking in crowd-pulling power and plain dull.

The common view is when the Queen dies or steps down and Prince Charles ascends the throne there will be a trigger for another push within Australia for a republic. This will change things because there is a reservoir of goodwill for the Queen which there isn't for Prince Charles. However, it would be much better and more dignified to see the debate happen well before such an event.