Friday, 15 December 2017

Republic of the Elites - Again

The Australian government is constituted under the Crown
News (The Australian 15-12-17) that the Australian Republic Movement is to announce the establishment of a high-level advisory panel including a number of politicians and big-businessmen comes as no surprise because the campaign for ‘an Australian head of state’ has always been all about politicians and big business controlling the top job.

The fact is, whilst the Queen is our sovereign head of state, the Governor-General acts in that role as our executive head of state. This is because our government is constituted under the Crown. Our current Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, is above politics and acts only in the interests of the nation. Could one ever say the same about any of the potential contenders for president? Also, importantly, no one can control the Governor-General.

The most important active office in the land is that of the head of government, the prime minister. Both the viceregal office and that of the prime minister have been occupied by Australians for decades.

Politicians will always protect the political interest. Big business will always protect big business. Who in this so-called republic is ever going to protect the rest of us?

Philip Benwell
National Chair
Australian Monarchist League

What the people want and what the politicians and the business elites want differs very often - certainly in the case of an Australian republic.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

50 years ago: King Constantine fails to restore democracy in Greece


King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie arrived in Rome early in the morning of 14th December 1967
From the outset, the relationship between King Constantine and the colonels, who seized power in Greece with a coup d'état was an uneasy one. Constantine II was at the Tatoi Palace outside Athens when the coup occurred in the early hours of the 21st of April. The king was cut off from his advisers and was at an initial loss as to how to re-act. His Majesty made his way to the Defence Ministry where the assembled generals stood at attention and pledged allegiance to their king.

However Constantine II’s visit to the Defence Ministry demonstrated to His Majesty that operational power was with the colonels, not the generals. Constantine II had to accept that actual power lay with the coup leader Colonel George Papadopoulos and not the army chief of staff General Grigorios Spantidakis (who was ignorant of the April coup).

The King on returning to Tatoi from the Defence Ministry was faced with the agonizing choice of departing for exile or initially acquiescencing to the coup. Cut off from his political advisers Constantine II opted to stay in Greece. Following his mothers’ suggestion the Supreme Court Prosecutor Constantine Kollias was appointed the new prime minister whom the colonels grudgingly accepted.

The King decided to launch his counter-coup on 13th December 1967. Since Athens was militarily in the hands of the colonels, Constantine decided to fly to the small northern city of Kavala, where he hoped to be among troops loyal only to him. The vague plan that Constantine and his advisors had conceived was to form a unit that would invade and take control over Thessaloniki, where an alternative administration would be installed. The King hoped that international recognition and internal pressure between the two governments would force the junta to resign, leaving the field clear for him to return triumphant to Athens.

In the early morning hours of 13th December, the King boarded the royal plane, together with Queen Anna Maria, their two baby children Princess Alexia and Crown Prince Pavlos, his mother Queen Frederika, his sister, Princess Irene and Prime Minister Constantine Kollias. At first, things seemed to be going according to plan. Constantine was well received in Kavala, which was under the command of a general loyal to him. The Hellenic Air Force and Navy, both strongly royalist and not involved in the junta, immediately declared for him and mobilised. Another of Constantine's generals effectively cut all communication between Athens and northern Greece.

However, Constantine's plans were overly bureaucratic, naïvely supposing that orders from a commanding general would automatically be obeyed. Further, Constantine was obsessive about avoiding "bloodshed", even where the junta would most likely respond with violence. Instead of attempting to drum up the widest popular support, hoping for spontaneous pro-democracy risings in most towns, Constantine preferred to let his generals put together the necessary force for advancing on Thessaloniki in strict compliance with military bureaucracy. The King made no attempt to contact politicians, even local ones.

In the circumstances, middle-ranking pro-junta officers neutralised and arrested Constantine's royalist generals and took command of their units, and subsequently put together a force to advance on Kavala to arrest the King. Realising that the counter-coup had failed, Constantine fled Greece on board the royal plane, taking his family with him. They landed in Rome early in the morning of 14th December. The royal family took refuge in the Greek embassy, but Queen Anna Maria, who was pregnant again, lost her baby.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Record-breaking lifetime of service


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, will mark their platinum wedding anniversary on 20th November in a milestone no other monarch has achieved.

Buckingham Palace has released a new photo to mark the 70th Wedding Anniversary of The Queen & Prince Philip
From 1pm on Monday, the bells of Westminster Abbey will ring to mark the anniversary.

As usual it is difficult to find hints, where monarchists could gather to celebrate the royal couple.

A morning tea will be held at Mount Isa Library on Monday 20 November to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary. Official guests from Mount Isa City Council, Army Base, Mount Isa Mines, Queensland Police Service, Fire Brigade, Queensland Ambulance, State Emergency Service are invited as well as members of the public.

In Melbourne Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and The Monarchist League of Australia (Victorian Chapter) invite to attend a Dinner to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary. It will take place on 22nd November at The Melbourne Club.

Australia Post have just released a stamp set for the platinum wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Below is an image featuring the $1 Perth Mint coin and medallion cover which are both available from participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps from 20 November 2017 while stocks last.

It is suggested you speak to your local Post Office to ensure they have the stamps and products available for sale to the general public.


You are invited to a
reception to honour the 70th wedding anniversary of

HER MAJESTY, QUEEN ELIZABETH II, QUEEN OF AUSTRALIA AND PRINCE PHILIP, DUKE OF EDINBURGH.

Where: Long Room, Parliament House, Hobart.
When: Wednesday 29th November, 6.00pm-7.00pm.

Hosted by Hon Guy Barnett MP, Liberal Member for Lyons

Whereas the anniversary falls on November 20th, this celebration is arranged to coincide with a sitting of Her Majesty’s Parliament.

RSVP by Friday 24th November to Reg Watson:
Ph. 6243 8597 / 0409 975 587 or email reg@regwatson.com

COUNCIL OF UNITED COMMONWEALTH SOCIETIES
“Rockingham Cottage” 7/550 East Derwent Highway
BOWEN PARK. Tasmania. 7016

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Prince of Wales celebrates his 69th birthday


When Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor was born on 14th November 1948 the water in Trafalgar Square’s fountains was coloured blue. Since then a lot of water has flown down the river Thames, but he has steadily prepared to ascend to the throne of the United Kingdom and the other realms and territories of the Commonwealth that still enjoy the advantages of a Constitutional Monarchy.

As good as it is possible, The Prince of Wales supports Australian causes, for example the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) whose Patron Prince Charles is, bringing global attention to the plight of Australia’s threatened wildlife: "His lifelong record of supporting conservation plays a vital role in raising awareness of the need for decisive, practical action to protect Australia’s threatened wildlife.

"Australia is home to more biodiversity than any other developed nation, reflecting both the extraordinary diversity of species in Australia and the fact that a very high proportion are found nowhere else on Earth. Sadly, however, we now have the planet’s worst mammal extinction rate and nearly 2,000 surviving plants and animals are on the national threatened species list.

"As Patron, Prince Charles helps highlight and promote the globally significant efforts of AWC to halt and reverse the tide of extinctions in Australia. His Royal Highness is committed to conservation and is keen to help to preserve iconic species like the Greater Bilby for generations to come.

"Prince Charles has a long history of involvement and interest in environment, sustainability and conservation including through a range of organisations of which he is Patron and his own Charitable Foundation. In Australia, the Prince has established The Prince’s Charities Australia and is Patron of a number of charitable organisations." www.princescharitiesaustralia.org.au

The Prince’s Trust Australia partners and collaborates with highly regarded Australian organisations to enable evidence-based programs to be delivered efficiently and effectively at both a local and national level. This includes identifying or creating programs to address specific social challenges, brokering partner relationships, and providing financial support to our partnership programs.

The Prince’s Trust Australia has a number of project areas across the following categories:

DEFENCE MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES

The Prince’s Trust Australia established The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business (P.L.Y.O.B) program to support transitioning Australian Defence members to develop and grow their own small business. Designed to provide individualized, flexible learning support from our education provider R.M.I.T. University and tailored, comprehensive mentoring with selected partner organisations, the P.L.Y.O.B. program typically assists participants for 12 to 18 months.

The program is underpinned by a nationally accredited Certificate IV in Small Business Management and builds upon the resilience, self-discipline and commitment to excellence developed and matured with the A.D.F. The program is also supported by an Advisory Council, chaired by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley A.C. D.S.C. (Ret’d), the Governor of New South Wales. To date, 65 A.D.F. personnel from across Australia have participated in the P.L.Y.O.B. program. The Prince’s Trust Australia welcomes applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

P.T.A. partners with the E.O.N. Foundation as a supporter and advocate helping raise awareness of E.O.N.’s Thriving Communities Program for remote Indigenous communities and schools. Based in Western Australia, E.O.N.’s Thriving Communities Program is an early intervention, nutrition-based healthy lifestyle and disease prevention program focused on young Indigenous Australians and their families.

P.T.A. also works in partnership with Phoenix Australia – Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, leading an international consortium of mental health researchers to develop a ground-breaking evidence-based recovery program for survivors of natural and man-made disasters. Known as interPAR, this new program will allow communities, health services, and governments to access a recovery tool kit at any time, and at no cost, to reduce distress and improve the quality of life of survivors.

ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY

Guided by His Royal Highness’ leadership in environmental sustainability, P.T.A. is currently working with Greenfleet Australia and The Walt Disney Company to create a community activation program with global reach. This “Low Glow” campaign works to support the endangered Loggerhead turtle in Bundaberg, home to more than 50% of all nesting Loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific Ocean.

P.T.A. is also a founding partner of the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, a new platform empowering the global community to commit to working together to save one of the world’s most important natural assets and is working with The Reef Alliance recognizing exemplary efforts to raise awareness, foster knowledge-sharing, and engage local communities in sustainable natural resource management to protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef through The Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability Award.

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Working in partnership with Defence Housing Australia and S.A. Renewal, P.T.A. has developed Australia’s first six-star green star rated residential building in Bowden, South Australia. The Princes Terrace Adelaide merges good design with sustainable building practices, attesting to its commercial viability and the benefits of mixed-use development, while paying homage to and reflecting local heritage. The Terrace is due for completion in November 2017.

YOUNG PEOPLE

Over the past 10 years, The Prince’s Trust in the U.K. has supported more than 18,000 young people through the Get Into program, working with employers across a variety of sectors, including hospitality, retail, construction and logistics.

The Get Into program supports young people to develop sector-specific skills to help them secure long-term employment. The Prince’s Trust Australia is working with Adelaide-based not-for-profit S.Y.C. to roll-out the Get Into program across the country after a highly successful pilot program in early 2017.

RURAL AND REGIONAL

The Prince’s Trust Australia has partnered with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (F.R.R.R.) on a pilot program seeking to establish a road-tested model of community-led disaster preparedness. The Disaster Resilient: Future Ready project engages current research, local communities and stakeholders to develop and test the framework, indicators, tools and assets to better prepare communities with place-based, sustainable processes.

ARTS AND CULTURE

In 2015, the British Museum and National Museum Australia (N.M.A.) presented the Encounters exhibition, a ground-breaking collection of rare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects representing the living cultural traditions of Australia’s first peoples.

The Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Fellowship Program was created in response to the Encounters exhibition. Delivered in partnership with the N.M.A. every two years, the inaugural 2016 Fellowship enabled six Indigenous cultural workers from regional and remote communities to travel across Australia and the United Kingdom as part of an intensive three-month international fellowship to develop cultural, creative or heritage sector skills and capabilities.


The Prince's Trust Australia
Level 24, 101 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000

info@princes-trust.org.au

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Happy 60th Birthday, Tony Abbott


The Hon. Tony (Anthony John) Abbott was born on 4th November 1957 and was the 28th Prime Minister of Australia, from 18th September 2013 to 15th September 2015. Abbott was leader of the Liberal Party of Australia from 2009 to 2015, and has been a member of parliament for Warringah since 1994.

Between 1993 and 1994, Tony Abbott served as Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) and fought bravely in 1999, when in a referendum the Australian people rejected a republic.

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy held its National Conference in Melbourne in October 2017 and Tony Abbott gave the keynote speech:


Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Queen is not a foreign power, she is above citizenship


Following the latest attempts of Australian republicans to replace the Constitutional Monarchy with an unknown republican regime, The Australian Monarchist League today published the following media release:

Mr Bill Shorten last night launched an attack on the Queen accusing her of being a foreign power. If he truly believes that then what worth is his word when he swore to bear true and faithful allegiance to the Queen when he took his seat in the parliament?

“I, William Richard Shorten do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!”

The fact is the Queen is Queen of Australia by right of the Australian Constitution. Both she, as sovereign head of state and the Governor-General, who upon appointment assumes the role of effective head of state, must accept the directions of the Australian ministers of the Crown provided those directions are in accordance with the Australian Constitution. The Queen is not a foreign power, she is the Queen and therefore is above citizenship.

Philip Benwell
National Chair
Australian Monarchist League

Also see blog entry: Her Majesty, World Citizen

Saturday, 29 July 2017

"Labor vows vote on republic" - Yawn!


The key players in the Battle Royal: Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, the future King and Queen of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, present Prime Minister and main loser of the 1999 republic referendum, his wife Lucy, and Bill Shorten, ALP Leader of the Opposition and wanna-be Prime Minister who wants to take the Monarchy away from the Australians to replace it with some sort of a republic.

The Saturday Age's headline "Labor vows vote on republic" is hardly newsworthy. The editorial in the same paper unsurprisingly comes to Labor's aid: "Opposition leader Bill Shorten is right that Australia should expedite its inevitable transition to a republic." So far, so bad, but all this was said and written before.

What neither Bill Shorten nor The Age are telling the bored audience is the answer to the question: WHAT kind of republic do you want? The Constitutional Monarchy Australia has enjoyed since becoming an independent country in 1901 has given a frame work everybody knows - even if some people dislike it. But to give this up and wander off to unknown territory will not easily be done by the Australians. Out of 44 referenda to change the constitution, only eight were successful.

Mr. Shorten knows this, therefore he wants a plebiscite with the question: "Do you support an Australian republic with an Australian head of state?" - to be followed by a second vote after that would settle on the tricky topic of the best model. When will Mr. Shorten let us know, which model he prefers? There's no indication anywhere what kind of president he would like to have (or he would like to be?).

In this plan neither Mr. Shorten nor the Fairfax media rule in a "No!" vote in the plebiscite. This is a more than likely assumption considering that the opinion polls do not favour the republicans, despite their loud claims they would speak for the Australian people. They are nowhere near the 50 percent threshold for their cause.

That poses the question: Will they give up their useless efforts to replace our Constitutional Monarchy with "a" republic? Isn't the US example of a republic not frightening enough?  Why not donate their millions to a worthy cause instead of spending it on their media advisers and the likes?

Or to say it in the words of Taylor Gramowski in the Spectator, "Flogging a dead horse republic": The ARM and Labor need to stop flogging a dead horse, concede defeat and move on.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla in 2015 at Government House, Sydney.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Happy 70th Birthday, Your Royal Highness


To mark HRH The Duchess of Cornwall's 70th Birthday, Clarence House has released this new portrait, taken by
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall turns 70 today and instead of celebrating her own birthday it is announced she is to take on a new patronage championing older people. In addition to some 90 charities and organisations she already represents, the Duchess will lend her experience to a helpline to combat loneliness in older age. She joins the Prince of Wales in becoming an influential voice for older people, after he last week spoke out for the forgotten would-be workers aged over 50 who struggle unnoticed to find employment.

They were photographed by Mario Testino in the morning room at Clarence House during a shoot in May, looking relaxed and happy as they smile for the camera side-by-side. The Duchess is captured for posterity in a navy blue dress coat with white embroidery by Fiona Clare, while the Prince wears a coordinating dark blue suit, shirt and tie. Testino paid tribute to the Duchess, describing her as “a kind and beautiful person with a wonderful sense of humour” after working with her again.


In November 2012 the royal couple paid a visit to The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in Southbank, Melbourne.

Clarence House hosted a garden reception to acknowledge those the Duchess works with, from former Royal household staff to charity leaders. A fellow party guest Dame Esther Rantzen has announced the Duchess is to be patron of her charity The Silver Line, with her 70th birthday placing her in the perfect position to help.

The Prince, too, has recently used his platform to speak up for older people, presenting awards to entrepreneurs over 50 during a visit to Wales last week. Speaking at Prime Cymru, the Prince’s initiative for “mature enterprise”, he told an audience that the difficulties faced by older workers are too often forgotten.

Though most women her age have long retired, there is no expectation in Royal circles that the Duchess will change her workload following the landmark birthday, continuing charity work in areas including children’s literacy, women’s empowerment and cancer care.

Her portfolio of charities will remain around the same size in the foreseeable future, a Royal source confirmed, with no sense of slowing down as she aids the Prince in his public duties. Both will join the wider Royal family in supporting the Queen and representing her in public engagements as the Duke of Edinburgh retires in the autumn.