Dan and Justy Down Under


March 7, 2005


To the Americans:

Australia isn't a free country. They still consider the Queen of England their monarch.

Some like this and bristle at the idea of a republic with (gasp) an Australian head of state. The unlikely coincidence of two royal visits at once has opened this debate again in Australia.

First up are Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, and his Tasmanian-born bride Mary. She's an Aussie!! The crowd goes wild! Newspapers and TV tail her with pre-Diana fervor. A goernment minister publicly thanks her: "Your marriage is a gift to the people of Australia." She is gorgeous and gracious (he's not so bad himself). Little girls gush about how "great" she is. Many eyes are glazed.

Mere days later, Bonnie Prince Charley arrives from England, fresh from news of his negagement to Camilla. The reception for Australia's putative future king is muted at best. He is no match for the Danes in charm. His personal travails, no worse than any other persons, are held against him by, ironically, the very people most anxious to prop him up here: the royalists. It is a confusing time for him, but luckily he's filthy rich, which does ease the strain a bit.

In 1999 Australia voted down a referendum to break with the Brits and establish a republic. This has widely been put down to the ineptitude of the republican advocates. Opinions are divided over whether this "perfect storm" of royalty will help the republican cause.

It certainly doesn't look promising when major newspapers all suggest trading in the english royals for the Danes. King Frederich of Denmark and Australia, Queen Mary of Denmark and Australia, anyone? Or as one letter-to-the-editor suggested, reflecting the multi-ethnic makeup of modern Australia, perhaps the now-disprivileged descendants of the Chinese Emperor would be interested?

No one suggested an Aboriginal head-of-state.

To the Australians:

You don't need any of this crap. If you're worried about how to choose the head-of-state, just have a lottery.

You know in your heart this would work.

Itinerary Highlights
January 20: Winery Tour
21-23: Moreton Bay Diving
25: Australia Zoo
26-30: Lady Elliot Island
February 13: Diving the Yongala
15-17: Cape Tribulation + Daintree Rain Forest
17-20: Atherton Tablelands
22-28: Coral Sea Diving Liveaboard
March 11-13: OzTek Dive Conference: Sydney
14: Fly to New Zealand
20: Poor Knights Islands Diving
31: Mt. Cook
April 2-4: Queenstown
TBD: To Be Dreamed

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