Friday, February 12, 2010

Her Majesty the Queen of Australia puts an upstart in her place

Good thing too. Irrespective of what you may think about our current constitution, it has always been understood that governors-general are vice-royalty. Hence terms like vice-regal to describe their role and function. They deputise for the real royalty.

From this morning's The Australian:

FOLLOWING the triumphant tour of Australia by its potential future king, Prince William, the Queen has reasserted her claim on the title "head of state" of Australia by using it in the announcement of her address to the UN in July.

Despite the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, being dispatched to Africa by the Rudd government last year under the description "Australia's head of state", yesterday a spokesman for Kevin Rudd avowed that the Queen held that position.

The title fight -- pitting the two female leaders, the sovereign and her representative, head to head -- revives a debate that raged around the republic referendum more than a decade ago.

The trigger for the confusion is the announcement by Buckingham Palace that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be addressing the UN General Assembly in July as Australia's "head of state", a statement that has taken Canberra's diplomats, officials and constitutional combatants by surprise.

In recent years, particularly after the debate and referendum on a republic in 1999, the local convention has been to recognise that the Governor-General is Australia's head of state and that Elizabeth II is our sovereign.

Full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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