The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the beginning of the reign of King Charles III has been a revelation. Five million Australians watched the Queen’s funeral. Many more would have viewed the ongoing, multiple television station coverage of reporters on the ground everywhere it mattered over the full ten days of mourning. A Roy Morgan poll conducted after King Charles took the oath showed 60% of Australians want to retain our system of government. Once again, republican claims that we are not interested in our constitutional monarchy have been disproven.
Something more than the standard position against change, – the, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” argument – justifiable though that is, has occurred to us at the Queen’s passing. Something much bigger and altogether more basic. Something we thought lost in the decades since the Queen ascended the throne in 1952 and for which we have realised no republican model of government could replace. What it is, is the full majesty of our culture and heritage.
When the new King, Charles III, took his oath at Westminster Hall, in accordance with the law and the assent of the people, and with all the arcane language, traditional vestments, processions and many constitutional acts and religious ceremonies, which culminated in the Queen’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey and her procession to Windsor Castle for her interment, a thousand year history played out before us. And we were in awe because it was the nation’s history.