The Queen of Australia will not be attending the civil wedding of her
son Charles – Australia’s next king – to Camilla – Australia’s next
queen. But she will host a wedding reception for 700 close friends at
Windsor Castle, at which one of her seven Australian representatives
will be present. Our own model of a modern major general, Michael
Jeffery and his wide Marlena will at considerable public expense travel
all the way to London for this royal extravaganza.

Why they will be there we haven’t been told. After all, His
Excellency recently put our minds to rest by admitting he is not the
Australian head of state, he represents her in this country. Imagine
the angst the remaining six Excellencies are experiencing. Why them and
not us? will more than likely be anguished cries emanating from the
vice regal breakfast tables.

Why any of them would be a
more appropriate question. Australia is represented in London by a High
Commissioner – why not him? After all it would be cheaper to travel to
Windsor from The Strand by motor than the journey from Yarralumla. And
if our senior diplomat on the spot isn’t interested, some of the States
have representatives in London – why not one of them?

Does
a question of protocol arise for the Jeffery’s? It’s already becoming
convoluted. His boss, the Queen of Australia will be in his presence,
so is he representing her at a function she will be hosting? Or is the
vice regal couple friends of the next king? Monarchists must be
experiencing something akin to Hell sorting this one out.

While the knees up it taking place at Windsor, some other royal events will need an Australian presence.

The
Pope – who presides over the oldest monarchy in the world- will have a
funeral which will overshadow that accorded the Queen Mother. On the
French Riviera, Prince Ranier of Monaco – the world’s longest reigning
monarch – will get a fairy tale service befitting his fair tale fiefdom.

Now,
we have an Ambassador to the Holy See, who resides in Ireland. Will he
fly to Rome for the Pope’s funeral or will Peter Woolcott, our
Ambassador in Italy , represent the Queen of Australia? Or will the
Queen of Australia’s senior representative – who will be nearby,
represent her? Or will John Howard ask Tony Abbott or Kevin Andrews to
do the honours? Or will John and Janette make the journey themselves?
It’s fair bet that Howard will ask Bush if it will be OK for a prime
ministerial representation.

The last question begging an
answer is the vexed Monaco situation. Who does Howard owe a favour to
right now? Mark Latham perhaps. He above all gave the Man of Steel the
keys to Kirribilli House for another few years – and there has to be a
payback for that.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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