Apr 24, 2014

How the pretty royals are turning young people into monarchists

Support for the monarchy has almost doubled among Australians under the age of 30. Monarchists and republicans agree Wills and Kate are partly responsible. Crikey intern Luke Cooper talks to both sides.

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The telegenic Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their bouncing baby boy are doing more than selling magazines and promoting Australian tourism — they’re turning Australians under 30, who usually lean republican, into monarchists. The proportion of young Australians who support the monarchy has almost doubled in the past two years.

The latest Fairfax-Nielsen poll, released a day after Wills and Kate flew into Australia, shows that 60% of 18- to 24-year-olds support the current system. The poll is a sharp contrast to 2012, when a survey commissioned by the Australian Republican Movement from UMR polling found 31% of voters under the age of 30 supported the monarchy and 45% were in favour of becoming a republic.

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10 thoughts on “How the pretty royals are turning young people into monarchists

  1. mikeb

    The problem for republicans (& I am one) is that there is no pressing need for change. Whitlam’s sacking has long faded from memory & events like that will probably never happen again. Apart from that the current Royals including Chas & Cam seem like a decent lot, and there are plenty of things to like about them. The hangers on are a bit tedious but at least the “crown” seems to be in good hands over the foreseeable future.

  2. Jackson Harding

    I voted for a Republic, and I will do so again, if we’re ever given another chance. I do wish however the previous campaign had spent more time better ellucidating the fact that if we have a directly elected President the stark reality is that no matter who we vote for, a politician will become our President.

    Constitutional monarchy does have it’s good points. Perhaps instead we should consider the solution Norway enacted when they became independent from Sweden. Import Harry, or Wills and Kate’s second born and make them our own monarch. As much as hereditary monarchy is said to be against Australian ideals, lets face it, it’s worked rather well for the past 113 years.


    Great idea, Jackson! We’ll take Harry (neé Hewitt) … give him a couple of years to do his thing and in a few years we’ll have our Republic!


    So the Brits can have their royal house of Tudor (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha), and we can have the royal house of Hewitt.

  5. Pedantic, Balwyn

    The glamour of the “Royal Couple plus their son/heir” is undeniable. However, it disguises an issue that should be of serious concern to Australians of all ages. The Queen and her family may be admirable individuals, but they do not represent Australia or its interests to the rest of the world.
    The Queen and the “Firm” promote the interests of the United Kingdom in any interaction with other countries. For many overseas, but especially our trading partners in Asia without any history within the British Empire, find it very confusing that that our head of state is British, not Australian. It makes them wonder if they are dealing with the decision makers or should they go higher to the UK?
    Members of the Royal Family have expressed surprise that we continue with an outmoded concept of a British head of state, recognising that their job is to support the betterment of Great Britain at the expense of other parties, like the Aussies.
    So it is to the advantage of our businesses, and there are plenty of other reasons that we move forward to adopt an Australian head of state, who will exclusively uphold the interests of Australia and its peoples.

  6. AR

    Monachary is only Martinkovits’ day job – he is also chief hack at CAN-Do, the Oz extrusion from the Teabag vat of slime, DNA & patronage courtesy of Dames Jones & Flint.

  7. Philip Howell

    Perhaps the public reaction would be different if the media ever reported on serious alternatives to the 1999 proposal. I’ve been publicising the Advancing Democracy model for 18 months, but the media prefers to re-hash the debate from 1999 rather than report something new.

    One comment above asserts there is no pressing need for change. There are many arguments to the contrary on the Advancing Democracy website, but here’s one of contemporary relevance.

    No-one is happy with the standard of Parliamentary debates. One key aspect of that problem is the absence of an independent, impartial chair of debates. This is because the Constitution requires a partisan politician like Bronwyn Bishop to preside.

    Political impartiality is also what everyone wants in a head of state. So make the new head of state take the place of the speaker, and deputy take the place of the Senate president. Prevent the head of state from adopting any other roles, and we would have a head of state who actually does something useful, and doesn’t meander around the country making vaccuous speeches.

    People would see the benefit in this approach if they were ever prompted to properly consider it. It is one aspect of the Advancing Democracy model at

  8. Graeski

    Well yes – this is the same demographic that was hopelessly in love with Justin Beiber only a few years ago. Does that tell us anything?

    I pretty much agree with mikeb – and the risk of our head of state being up for sale to our pollies horrifies me.

    Here’s a thought. Maybe every decade or so we could throw the names of every Australian between the ages of 21 and 65 (70, if Joe gets his way) into a hat and instead of having a $20 million lotto draw, have a “head of state” draw. Random selection by raffle is no less logical than random selection by birth and has the additional advantages of avoiding politics and elections and removing hereditary monarchy. Plus could anything be more Australian? We could even have the award night at Crown Casino … with a real crown!

    King Shannon de Bondi. Queen Narelle Grong Grong.

    OK. Maybe it wouldn’t work.

  9. tim readfern

    i think all royal visits should be financed by kickstarter campaigns in the future. if they can raise $50m for a holiday to australia then good luck to them, just don’t waste taxpayers money on a couple of privileged twats to walk around and look at things for a week.

  10. Bill Morton

    Having seen a quite few governments with time horizons barely stretching to the next election, there is something to be said for having a royal family with a very long term interest

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