An Australia Republic: uninfluenced by box-office receipts

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by Barry Everingham

Interest in constitutional reform in this country is not affected by foreign films, no matter how successful; it is a matter for the people of Australia. Barry Everingham comments.

The news that The Kings Speech has hit the record books as one of the highest ever box-office money spinners has reduced Professor David Flint to an almost catatonic state of excitement; the Indonesian-born co-controller of Australian for Constitutional  Monarchy puts this surge of interest down to an indication that the republican cause in this country has been lost.

Now I, like millions of others, have seen the film—and I was riveted. The acting was second to none, the direction was faultless and the subject matter was sympathetic and long overdue. The treatment of stammering is something which has been ignored for too long and those afflicted with the condition have surely been given hope that their speech patterns can be normalised.

But Flint’s excitement is, to say the least, bizarre—a condition he wallows in whenever anything to do with the notion of hereditary royal succession is mentioned.

Flint would know, but would never admit, that Bertie Windsor’s affliction was the direct fault of the unloving, anal retentive and cruel upbringing he and his brothers had at the hands of their parents—King George V and Queen Mary.

Poor Prince John: sent to live away from his parents, died when he was just 13

So unloving were they, their youngest son John – a victim of epilepsy and autism – was regarded as an embarrassment and consigned to a cottage in the country where he was cared for by loving servants and hardly ever visited by his parents and siblings.

The producers of the film were at fault for not including this important ingredient, which would have illustrated that the condition which afflicted Bertie was not inherited—it was upbringing.

They should have at the same time underscored the conditions of the King’s and Queen’s other sons: David, who abdicated because of the restrictive nature of his position; Harry an alcoholic whose only claim to fame was a stint as war-time and unremarkable Governor General of Australia; and George, who was Noel Coward’s lover—a nuclear family long before its time.

None of this should surprise—the descendants of the reclusive Queen Victoria (Bertie and his brothers and sister) were the old Queen’s great great grandsons. Bertie’ s father King George V and his first cousins  Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia  were Victoria’s grandsons and have been described as “...three absurd men who could have held the fate of Europe in their hands is a fact as hilarious as it is terrifying”.

So much for the notion of an hereditary monarchy.

And so much for its relevance to contemporary Australia.

It was revealed in Harold Macmillan’s biography and reported on this site, that “Super Mac” was clear on the powers of the Queen—they just don’t exist. She does as she’s told by the Prime Minister of the day.

Which leave us with the question:

Why do we bother?  
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