Saturday, August 1, 2015
How Australia Could Have Changed Royal History
This would, as I see it, serve a dual purpose. It would, hopefully, help to strengthen ties between the realms and Great Britain as well as with the monarchy by having an actual member of the Royal Family as the monarch’s representative in the country. Further, it would serve as a good form of preparation for those royals who are high up in the line of succession. Serving as the monarch’s representative would seem to me to be an ideal way of learning the trade of being the actual monarch for that country and the others some day in the future. Again, however, I realize most would roll their eyes at the very notion of having a royal Governor-General. It would mean having a Governor-General who was British and many people seem to think, for some reason my damaged mind cannot fathom, that this would be an unspeakable humiliation and a sign of degrading subservience to the old mother country. Personally, I have never seen any Commonwealth Realm treat their Governor-General in anything close to a subservient fashion but, I suppose, expecting these sorts of people to make sense is asking too much.
The problem is due to one of things that I find most frustrating about government in general in the English-speaking world outside of the United States which is that there is a difference between what the law says can be done and what “convention” says can be done. Legally, of course, the Queen appoints the Governor-General and, as far as I know, can appoint whomsoever she chooses. The convention, however, is that the Queen must appoint the candidate chosen by the Prime Minister of the country in question. Further, while, again, as far as I know, there is no law that says the Governor-General must be a native or resident of the country in question, the convention has been established that only an Australian can be appointed Governor-General of Australia and only a Canadian can be appointed Governor-General of Canada and so on. So, there were objections that having the Prince of Wales as Governor-General of Australia would be quite impossible. He is not “Australian” and was not put forward as a candidate by the Australian government. The dismissal of the Australian government by Governor-General Sir John Kerr on the Queen’s authority in 1975 has also been cited as a reason why the Prince of Wales was refused for the position. This, incidentally, was also a case of people objecting to a Governor-General doing something which he had the right, according to the law, to do but which, by convention, was something he was not expected to do.
I cannot help but think of the possible changes to royal history that might have occurred had the Australians welcomed the Prince of Wales with open arms. Being admittedly in favor of the idea, openly biased and completely partial, naturally they are all positive changes in my mind. Imagine a newly wed Prince Charles and Princess Diana moving to Australia. Prince William would have been a toddler there and the presence of two future heirs would certainly have given a boost to monarchism in Australia. The Prince and Princess of Wales, together in a distant country far from their usual circle of friends (and with no Camilla close at hand) might have been just the thing to draw them closer together and save their marriage. Had there been no divorce and thus no subsequent fling with the Egyptian playboy Dodi Fayed, Diana might still be alive today, the Princess of Wales and future Queen. It seems an idyllic family scene to my mind.