The crowning of Charles

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(Image by John Graham /

Monarchists and republicans have one thing in common — both are agonising about Charles Windsor becoming king and what form his Coronation will take when he does, writes senior correspondent Barry Everingham.

MONARCHISTS WILL UNDOUBTEDLY go into paroxysms of excitement when the ancient ceremony to anoint Charles Windsor is eventually played out, forgetting its relevance to contemporary Australia is totally non-existent and, indeed, insulting.

Charles and Camilla will go through a centuries old charade, which is steeped in the tradition of the Anglican Church, the United Kingdom's official God bothering body.

That in itself in an insult to most Australians — who, according to the latest polls, have abandoned churches in droves, irrespective of their religion.

Taking a trip back in time to the coronation of Edward VII in 1902, one writer described how the trumpets were blazing, the organ pealing and the choir singing the triumphant hosannas.

But that’s not all. There were court officials with their white wands and church dignitaries with their magnificent vestments and so on and so on.

Please, give me a break!

And who sat close to the thrones of Edward and Alexandra of Denmark?

None other than the new king's mistresses, such as Lillie  Langtry, Sarah Bernhardt, Winston Churchill's mother Jennie Churchill and Alice Keppel.

At least when Charles is subjected to all this nonsense, his former mistress will be at his side as his wife.

The next king, Charles's grandfather George V, approached the High Altar wearing a crimson state robe borne by eight pages! Then the archbishop anointed his brow, breast and hands, he was given a ruby ring before St Edward's crown was placed on his head.

The next in line, King Edward VIII, didn't get crowned, he opted to jump ship and marry the woman he loved and the couple became the king and queen of international cafe society.

The Queen's father, George VI, was a canny man and he opted for a priestly Coronation with all the trappings. But the emphasis was more subdued, because he knew the people by then had woken up — the monarchy was a dead duck with no political power. The royal family had begun to crumble — an abdication, an ambitious Queen Mother and an array of royal miscreants who had never done a day’s work in their lives.

Then along came Elizabeth II and the rest is history.

She opted for the full treatment and the world saw it all, as TV had arrived.

It beggars belief that Charles and Camilla will subject themselves to the ridicule a formal Coronation would attract.

Perhaps we can do them a favour by becoming a republic and enter the real world as our country with one of our own as head of state.

Help bring about an Australian Republic at originals of John Graham's art, featured in this piece as well as elsewhere on IA, are available for purchase by contacting the editor at

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