Earlier this week the Australian government was ordered to release a number of letters sent to the Queen from Australian primer ministers, after a freedom of information request from independent researcher and blogger William Summers. Most notably, this includes any letters sent by Tony Abbott during his reinstatement of knights and dames.
Though BuzzFeed reported the government had until mid-February to release the documents, investigative humourist Ben Pobjie has stumbled across a stack of them in a locked cupboard from a Canberra Salvos, and Crikey can now exclusively reveal a selection of Tony Abbott’s letters from 2013-15.
Your Most Gracious Majesty,
How are you? I am fine. I am writing to let you know that, as the new prime minister of Australia, I intend to bring back reverence for the monarchy in this country. You’ll be aware that a certain amount of disrespect for you, our Sovereign, crept into the halls of government under the last couple of prime ministers, who were frankly rather vulgar individuals with very little dignity and one of whom was frankly, without wanting to be insulting, female.
There’ll be no more of that now, Your Majesty. Under an Abbott prime ministership, Australia is going to return to its rightful position in the world: gazing adoringly up at you. You can count on me, milady.
With that in mind, would you be able to send me a signed photograph of yourself at your earliest convenience? It would really help a lot with the priorities of this government. If you address it to, “Tony, my Best Boy”, that would be a big plus for the Australian people, though obviously it’s up to you.
I remain your faithful servant,
Anthony John Abbott, Prime Minister of the Crown
How are things? I noticed you didn’t reply to my last letter, so I thought I’d drop you a line, just to keep you updated on the haps down under, as we say!
Sorry for using slang, Your Majesty, but as you know we “Aussies” are a rough and tumble larrikin lot and that is our charm. You will be pleased to know that my pledge to restore the Crown to its proper position in Australia is already being fulfilled. In fact I am about to announce my plan to reinstate the tradition of knighthoods in this country. I know you will be excited about this, as whenever I see you doing the old sword-tap there is always a look of beatific contentment on your beautiful face. I could look at that for hours.
Anyway, I was hoping your dear husband Philip could be our first knight of this new era. He’ll make a wonderful Knight of Australia, as I know he has always loved our country, to the extent that I believe he mentioned us once.
So will you ask him? I would ask him myself, but every time I write to him my letters are returned stamped “NOT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS”. Please ask him if he would do me this honour, and assure him there is no need to feel threatened, as there is nothing between myself and you, Your Majesty. And I mean that: let’s not dwell on what might have been; both of us have duties far greater than our personal desires.
I remain your humble dogsbody,
Anthony John Abbott, Queensman
I still haven’t heard from you in response to my last letter, and though I would never accuse you of anything so unroyal as rudeness, I know that our relationship is strong enough to withstand plain speaking, so I admit I am somewhat put out.
I have gone out of my way to elevate your marvellous reign in the eyes of the Australian people, and still you have not replied to my letter, just to say hello, enquire after my health, or send me a few delicate locks of your exquisite hair.
Please reply to this letter, as I am finding my appetite has dwindled alarmingly lately. If you want to enclose that signed photograph, that’d really help smooth over this little unpleasantness between us. Or maybe rub the letter on your skin, whatever. Or if you wanted to sign in blood, I mean it’s up to you. I have to go because I am prime minister and busy. Love you.
Yours in regalness,
Anthony John Abbott, Duke of Warringah
I cannot take this anymore. Put me out of my misery. Right now I would sigh with relief if the cold steel of your knighting blade came scything through my neck, ending the pain that only you can cause and only you can relieve. I have been nothing but your faithful servant throughout my life. I have asked for nothing in return but courtesy, respect and to be kept in mind if ever you are getting rid of your old clothes and wondering where to send them. I agreed to knight your husband. I have remained loyal even as other Australians choose to put their petty “country” before their duty to their queen. But you won’t even write me a letter.
I need to know you are OK. I need to know you still care. I need to feel your breath warming my deathly cheek once again. Remember London, Lizzy? How we danced? For appearance’s sake you remained aloof, but I saw the look in your eyes. I know yearning when I see it — for I see it in the mirror every morning.
Tell me what you want, Lizzy, and it is yours. Do you want Australia to reintegrate into the British Empire? Do you want the ADF deployed en masse to Wales? Do you want me to eat a whole onion? Just say the word and it is yours. Only tell me, tell me … tell me that that great tale, the story of us, is not yet done. I have to go now as Peta says I can’t ride my bike until I finish my muesli. Please write back … please.
Longing to once again smell you on my clothes,
Anthony John Abbott, Pikeman of the Heart