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The Queen and the Governor-General

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Queen Elizabeth II and Governor-General Sir John Kerr Circa 1975 (Screenshots via YouTube)

A satchel containing previously unreleased correspondence between Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth and Governor-General Sir John Kerr was deposited at IA's head office...

14 October 1975

Her Majesty The Queen
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA 

Dear Madam, 

As your representative in the Antipodean dominion of Australia, it is my duty to inform you of the strange goings-on here. Your government, the Australian Government under Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, is doing some highly unconventional things, which, quite frankly, do not pass the pub test.

They are currently negotiating a large loan, using a greasy, untrustworthy type, Pakistani banker Tirath Khemlani, to broker a deal with some shady types from the Middle East.

Consider the likes of the Greek Aristotle Onassis, the chap to which President Kennedy’s widow Jacquie hitched her wagon. Believe me, Onassis is an oil painting compared to this Khemlani grease ball.

I couldn’t let this go through to the keeper without informing you. Staying with the cricket theme, my old mate, Keith Miller, says to pass on his regards to your little sister, Princess Margaret.

I have the honour to be, Madam, Your Majesty's humble and obedient servant, 

John Kerr  
Governor-General

18 October 1975

His Excellency General the Honourable 
Government House
Dunrossil Drive
YARRALUMLA ACT 2600

Dear John,

I thank you for your correspondence. Do please keep me informed.

In regard to Jacquie Kennedy, I refuse to refer to her as Jacquie Onassis, I concur with you entirely. Why on Earth she couldn’t find a suitable American man or Englishman, quite honestly astounds me.

As for my sister, Margaret, I am so envious of her having all the fun whilst I am here having to be starchly proper and stuck with my own Greek chap, Philip. I really shouldn’t say this, but that man’s nocturnal flatulence and snoring issues forced me to remove him from my bed early into our marriage. Margaret can let her hair down, dance the night away, or indulge in some rompy rompy whenever she wants.

Me? Stuck opening some dog show, scone baking fair or some flower show. Thank God for the horse racing. Without it I would have lost my bottle many moons ago.

Thank you, Governor-General, for allowing me to indulge.

Your Queen Elizabeth

PS  Please feel free to address me as Queen Elizabeth.

21 October 1975

Dear Queen Elizabeth,

I wish I was able to report things are improving on the ground, here, but I fear the situation is deteriorating at a rapid gallop.

Prime Minister Whitlam insisted I dine with him at a Chinese – yes, I say again, Chinese – restaurant, where he kept referring to me as "Comrade" Kerr. No doubt he was pumping me for information. A most horrible evening, indeed, my Queen.

Cheers for now. 

I remain Your Majesty's humble and obedient Governor-General Down Under,

John Kerr

24 October 1975

Dear John,

I thank you for your up to the minute report on the current goings-on.

On a more personal note, if you will indulge, I admit to asking my secretary if there had been any correspondence from my Antipodean representative. I was so happy when he handed me your note. I wish it had been me dining with you at said Chinese restaurant.

Do keep me up to date. Don’t be shy ... and, please, call me Elizabeth.

Elizabeth

27 October 1975

Dear Elizabeth,

I was beside myself with delight to receive your enchanting letter. I admit to having many, many thoughts of you.

At dinner with Prime Minister Whitlam, I found it hard to concentrate on what he was saying. I kept seeing your lovely face in my thoughts.

I passed on your sister’s best wishes to Keith Miller. I suggested he should have his eyes tested if he thinks Margaret is the glam out of the two of you. I told him I think you are far more beautiful.

Your humble Governor-General,

John Kerr

30 October 1975

Dear Johnny Boy,

I hope you are comfortable with the new nomenclature I have bestowed on you, just for our personal correspondence.

I can’t wait to tell Maggie what you wrote. Seriously, Great Britain dodged a bullet by not being encumbered with that flagrant party girl as our monarch. She would have been our Caligula. Keith Miller can have her. As long as you prefer me, I am happy.

Please feel free to call me Lizzie.

Lizzie xxx

3 November 1975

Dear Lizzie,

I have never felt such deep, exquisite happiness before, ever, in my fraught journey through life. I feel I must entrust you with what some refer to as my Achilles' heel. My drinking issues — and why I drink.

My personal life has been filled with sadness. It is possible I married my current wife whilst I was on the rebound, so to speak. I do not wish to go into detail, but I find my thoughts are now of you and I resent my wife for not being you.

Re the political situation here; I fear the horse manure will soon be hitting the fan.

I miss you, Lizzie.

Your Johnny Boy xxx

6 November 1975

My dear Johnny Boy,

Do be careful. In fairness to little sister Margaret, I fear she too hit the bottle to alleviate the pain of not being with her true love, Captain Peter Townsend.

Since your last letter, my thoughts have been filled with you and I spending languid evenings together sipping on G and Ts, with a dash of lemon, and each other.

I miss you, Shnooky Baby.

Your little Lizzie  xxxxxxx

10 November 1975

Dear Lizzie,

Any chance of sending me some special photos of you, just for me, so to speak? The bottom of the bottle no longer possesses any solace for me. You are my salvation.

Your Shnooky Baby Johnny

PS Tomorrow I’m telling Gough he’s cactus.

IA has decided not to publish any of the correspondence between Queen Elizabeth and Governor-General Sir John Kerr after this date, as it is of a personal nature and in no way relevant to the Dismissal of the Whitlam Government on 11 November 1975.

Rocky Dabscheck is a musician/songwriter and front person for Rocky and The Two Bob Millionaires. He is also the author of '42+1: The (Real) Meaning of Life' and Stoney Broke and the Hi-Spenders'.

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