Raising my glass to the Queen(‘s birthday long weekend)

Keep Calm and Enjoy the HolidayToday we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday. I am not entirely sure when her real birthday is, but suffice to say it’s unlikely to fall on the 8th June. I raise a glass to our Queen Liz and am very grateful for a day to spend with my family.  

About fifteen years ago debate raged as to whether Australia should become a republic. A referendum was held. Politicians and commentators alike felt that it was time for Australia to assert her independence. That we needed to cut ties with the mother country and stand on our own two ugg-booted feet. It never quite happened, but it felt very near.

In retrospect, we were a little like impatient young adults keen to move out of home. And to be fair, the olds were getting pretty embarrassing. Remember Prince Charles wanting to be Camilla’s tampon? I was less concerned about the affair and more concerned about the lack of poetry. The tabloids, which were much more focussed on royal gossip in the day, gleefully reported all manner of inappropriate behaviour. The relevance of the English royal family seemed limited to fodder for New Idea.

But things have changed. Support for a republic is at a three decade low. It no longer seems essential to cut the apron strings in order to be seen as all grown up. Most Australians would not identify with “Mother England”. My own family is European and I don’t feel a connection to Britain. But I think becoming a republic at this juncture would divert attention for more pressing issues and cost money that could be much better spent.

Besides, somewhere along the way, the royal family became less embarrassing. The princes seem like nice, normal blokes. They don’t appear to be harbouring secret ambitions to become sanitary products at any rate. Princess Catherine manages to be both of the people and above the people. The clothes she wears are deliberately within financial reach – for those with quick online fingers in any case. But the way she looked after giving birth reminded us all of just who wears the princess crown.

Maybe all things English just got a little less daggy. Was it the Keep Calm and Carry On craze? Or when union jacks and British bulldogs moved from naff to ironically cool? Whatever the reason, the monarchists can breathe easy for a while. Right now, Australia has no intention of moving out of home.

And as long as we get a public holiday, I don’t think I mind a wee bit.  Now, off to my tea and crumpets.

Arrow 3Are you a monarchist? Republican? Don’t care as long as we get a day off?

 

11 thoughts on “Raising my glass to the Queen(‘s birthday long weekend)

  1. Rachael - The Bowerbird Girl says:

    The ‘mother’ country kicked my bread-stealing ancestors out a long time ago (fist pump, YES! No, seriously England, who has the better end of the stick now do you think?). I am a republican (and a feminist, oh dear, what a combo) and look forward to the day we say farewell to the Queen as our head of state. On a serious note, until they work out how we will get a President (or whatever we decide to call that figure) and the role that figure plays, I don’t think it will happen. But, in the meantime, I will take this day, and with an artfully placed middle finger on my champers flute, toast the old duck.

    • Robyna says:

      Ah, a feminist republican – don’t tell the prime minister 🙂 I think the logistics are what’s standing in the way really – that and it’s not on this government’s agenda.

  2. I'm Sarah says:

    I remember the furore about Australia parting with the mother country. I was living in England at the time (I’m British and, now, Australian) and wondered why, in this day and age, people wouldn’t want to make the split, especially as it was colonised in such an awful fashion. I also wondered if old Lizzie wants to be considered the head of all these states. She must be tired of all the things that carry her name, I know I would be. The Empire is just not what it used to be ;-). When we moved to Australia, I found it really bazaar that her birthday was celebrated, and not even on her actual birthday, which is in April and would be far better weather-wise for a break, don’t you think. Having said that, as I sit writing this to you, the air is crisp and the sun is shining and yes, indeed, I am enjoying my day off. xx

    • Robyna says:

      I think as long as you give Australians a day off – they are happy. Although I daresay if we became a republic there would be some kind of holiday to mark the fact. It feels like no-one really cares that much about it anymore.

  3. Kara says:

    I think it’s widely held that Americans have a fascination with all things royalty (since we basically did a big middle finger wave at the Crown and yelled “F off!” and made our own country). My question is as a dual citizen, American and Australian, do I curtsy to the Queen (or any other royal) should the opportunity ever arise? :p

  4. lali108 says:

    Ha, loved reading this. It’s a complicated relationship isn’t it? Here in Quebec there is no loyalty to the queen–I think she has sworn never to return after a nasty visit once. The rest of Canada seems ok with it, I think!?

    • Robyna says:

      When I visited Quebec I got the feeling that the people forged their own way and saw their culture as quite distinct from the rest of Canada – which was really lovely and interesting actually. Canadians say Eh, Australians say Meh when it comes to the republic debate perhaps?

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