Prince William: nice bloke who will never be our head of state

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IA senior correspondent Barry Everingham


Barry Everingham reviews the recent royal tour. All very nice, though William will never be Australia's head of state.

I’ve covered about as many royal occasions as I’d guess David Flint has had hot breakfasts — and as a rule they’re staged managed affairs with drooling colonials making idiots of themselves.

But I have to admit William, like his late divine Mum, has broken a lot of ground and the usual bullshit surrounding such visits almost disappeared.

We hardly heard that anachronistic nonsense “your royal highness” and I don’t recall seeing a woman sink to ridiculous depths by curtseying to another human being; I can well imagine William’s embarrassment if one of them had tried.

Royal tours in the mould of the few the Queen or members of her family have undertaken in the past are thankfully a thing of the past and will be come as rare as hen’s teeth as the years roll on. I was interested to read Lewis Holden’s very perceptive piece on this illustrious site earlier today and it's worthwhile taking his comments a few steps further.

William is second in line to the “throne of Australia” and those who hold their breaths waiting for that moment will die very slow deaths. As Holden points out, the lad will have to wait for Granny and Daddy to die before he ascends the throne.

Given that the Queen’s old mum lived to be 101 (family matriarchs do have longevity — look at the remarkable Dame Elizabeth Murdoch), which means she will have at least another ten years—William will then be 38.

Charles is now 63 — and has more than likely another, at least, 25 years left, which will make William the same age as his father is now.

All this is 35 years up the track and I’ll defy anyone to say Australian will not be a Republic by then and the British monarchy and its members will be left, very correctly, as footnotes in the history books.

But wait.

In the unlikely event we are a monarchy when it’s William’s turn, will William still be around? He’s a serving soldier and airman, and God forbid anything should to happen to him, but if it does, and he’s childless at the time, guess who will get the gig?

Right on — that fun loving younger brother, Harry of Wales and Anabell’s—that London mecca of the rich, the famous and the royal. The scenario is not as farfetched as it seems and the royal family has history in the second son succeeding department.

The Queen’s father, as Duke of York (see The King’s Speech) was lotted to a life of being what he always wanted to be—a country squire.

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But there was the Harry of his day, York’s older brother, the Prince of Wales whose love of the good life drove him into the arms of a twice married American woman and again—the rest is history; he wouldn’t give her up, the anal retentive opinion makers of the day when he became Edward V111 made him abdicate in favour of York.

Now York’s and Edward’s father, who became George V, was another Duke of York and he had an older brother, but that one died too.

The older brother was engaged to a penniless German princess, May of Teck, who Queen Victoria had personally picked — not to worry, George was ordered to marry her.

Will history repeat itself? At the end of the day who really cares?

The twilight of royalty is upon us and whoever becomes king and under whatever circumstances will hopefully have no relevance whatsoever to our young, egalitarian and thriving  country.

Back to where I came in — good on ya Wills, you did good mate and now its time for that wedding. All the best to you and Cate and mate, don’t call us, please!
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