Next Monday, Australia’s myriad of diplomatic, consular and trade offices around the world will close their doors. The reason: to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday and confirm to millions of people that we are still a colonial outpost.
Even the British must scratch their heads, because even though Elizabeth is their queen and lives among them, they don’t celebrate this anachronistic charade. There’s really something quite bizarre about the cringe still pervading Australia and the revelations in last weekend’s papers that Sir Paul Hasluck as viceroy had to hose down expectations from would-be Australian peers was laughable.
Even that old schemer Henry Bolte saw himself wrapped in ermine and sitting in a foreign parliament – and it’s not surprising there are one or two still among us who have similar expectations. Your Correspondent was recently a mourner at a Victorian “establishment” funeral service and the congregation was asked to sing the British national anthem dressed up a “royal hymn.” The looks of embarrassment on most faces said it all.
There should be absolutely no place for “God Save the Queen” at any Australian functions any longer. Even the RSL concedes this. It’s time to move on, especially on the Queen’s Birthday.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.