Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Queen's visit to Melbourne

from Wendy

The Commonwealth Games opens tonight with much fanfare, probably a few kangaroos, fish, and a tram descending from the sky. It's a nice event with athletes from a host of disparate places with little in common except the expansion of the British Empire at one point in history. Fiji. Australia. Tuvalu, from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and so on.

To have a Queen of another country as our head of state isn't a perfect situation. She does her job well, even if a tad conservative with her hats, gloves and handbags. It's good to see a woman who has dignity and doesn't put her foot wrong. But… royalty and enormous privilege by an accident of birth seems such an anachronism in the year 2006.

She has to attend many boring functions of course, listen to speeches by strangers and syncopants, shake hands with men in suits. On the other hand she is rich, very, very rich, and why should poorer countries pay huge amounts of money in entertaining and paying for her tours?

I was a little chunky royalist when I was 14 and saw a little younger Queen in Australia, then again in Fiji during a visit to Suva. The day she came to Geelong was the day Peceli and I returned ( a day early) from Fiji to find the house in rather a desperate state afther the three boys had looked after themselves for three weeks so I did not go and see Her Maj. These days I don't listen to her speeches, or cross the road to see her and I don't have much time for bling hats and gloved hands.

Of course at this point in time, we in Australia are more like the bootlaces of the USA military men! So probably the idea of a British Commonwealth is preferable after all!

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