Article Index

The Royal Family

THE REPUBLICAN DEBATE

The marital problems of certain members of the Royal Family in the eighties and nineties has caused some people to be concerned about the role and future of the Constitutional Monarchy. Personalities should have no place in the Australian republican debate. It is our freedom which is at stake, not a popularity contest.

REPUBLICANS ASSERT

Alleged scandals, marital problems in the eighties  and exaggerated and untrue stories in the media about  the Royal Family mean that Australia should become a republic

ACM'S RESPONSE

In is important to distinguish between people's jobs and their personal lives. The only member of the Royal Family with any formal role in the Australian system of government is The Queen. Unfortunate as it is there are not many families today that are not facing divorce and other problems. Divorce is an inescapable factor of modern life.

If there were to be any doubts in the future as to the suitability of the succession, Australia would again be consulted as we were during the events leading up to the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936.

At the same time the service which members of the Royal Family should not be ignored. Constitutionally, The Queen does not cost Australians a single cent beyond the postage of the letters of appointment of our Governors-General and Governors.  Australian taxpayers do not pay for the upkeep of the monarchy, and no member of the Royal Family receives any allowance or is eligible for superannuation from Australia.

The British government in fact makes a profit from the royal Family through The Queen transferring to the government all of the  income from the Crown Estate from which the costs of maintaining buildings and offices are sourced.

Although in their eighties, both The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh continue to fulfil their various duties.  Her Majesty has reigned as Queen of Australia for over half the life of our country. She played a significant role in finding a solution to the constitutional problem concerning the States which remained unresolved for forty years from 1926. Our State politicians trusted the British more than our federal politicians. Accordingly the States formally remained under the British Crown rather than the Australian Crown until 1986. Advice to The Queen on State matters went through British ministers. Now, uniquely in the Commonwealth,  the State Premiers each  enjoy direct access to The Queen.

Canada also retained an anomalous relationship with Britain in that amendment to her constitution had to be effected through the British Parliament until the constitution was patriated in 1982.

Meanwhile, at a time when many are considering retiring Prince Charles raises over a quarter of a billion dollars a year for charities for a wide range of purposes including the disadvantaged. His sons Prince Charles and Prince Harry are doing similar work as they serve in the armed forces.

QUOTES FOR THE DAY!

'Australians involved in the ongoing constitutional debate concerning a proposed republic for Australia will do well to remember that personalities have a great deal less to do with our system of government in Australia than in Britain.

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