Republic Versus Monarchy - part two, section three
[Arguments for the Monarchy & the answers to them]

The Queen is the "Queen of Australia",
not a foreign Queen

This argument states that legally the Queen is the Queen of Australia, being distinct from her roles as the Queen of Canada, Queen of New Zealand, etc. Thus, they say, the Queen is not a foreign Queen.

Of course, this is rubbish. Although the Federal Parliament has styled her as "Queen of Australia" (Royal Style and Titles Act 1973), everyone knows what she is: The Queen of the United Kingdom, who also has technically separate roles, as Queen of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Commonwealth, and her other "realms".(41)

In fact, the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (the British Act establishing and encompassing Australia's Constitution) specifically states: "The provisions of this Act referring to the Queen shall extend to Her Majesty's heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom" (Section 2). The Schedule of the Australian Constitution also refers to "the King or Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland".

Therefore the Constitution Act and the Constitution itself specifically spell out that the Queen who "rules" Australia is, in reality, the Queen of the U.K., thus overriding any pathetic "she's the Queen of Australia, not a foreign Queen" claims.

It should not be forgotten that it was not in Australia, but in England - in Westminster Abbey, where Queen Elizabeth II made her promise to "govern ... Australia". The Coronation oath that she made "to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand ... (etc.)" spells out Australia's position as part of the British Empire, ruled by a foreign Queen, rather than being a truly sovereign nation.(42)

Even Australia's coinage tells us of the Queen's relationship with Australia: on the "heads" side of each coin there is a "picture" of the Queen, with the words "Elizabeth II". As Elizabeth I died in 1603, 167 years before the British "discovery" of this country, Australia has had only one Queen Elizabeth. Therefore, if she "rules" us as "Queen of Australia", and not as Queen of the United Kingdom, she should be "Elizabeth I". This follows the same principle by which William III of England was also known as William II of Scotland, and William I of Ireland; and though it may be a little known fact, while the present Queen is known as Elizabeth II in England, she is properly known as Elizabeth I in Scotland.(43)

Indeed, the Queen's Australian title informs us that she is the Queen of the United Kingdom: "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth". "Other Realms" includes the U.K., thus her title states that she is the Queen of Australia and the U.K.(44)

The reason for the "word games" in naming the Queen as "Queen of Australia" was that therefore "she should be advised in all Australian matters exclusively by Commonwealth Ministers". That is, that the Monarch should take advice from the Australian Government in all matters that concern Australia. Not only did this mean that the British Government should not advise the Monarch in Australian matters, but - as that issue had been sorted out long - the actual intent of the Commonwealth Government in passing this law has been seen as a way of resolving a "struggle between the Commonwealth and State governments over the nature of the constitutional relations between Australian governments and the United Kingdom". The result was that "the new designation of the Queen as Queen of Australia could support the thesis that in matters of Australian (whether federal or State) constitutional law or convention, the sole advisers to Her Majesty would in future be Her Majesty's Australian ministers (viz. the ministers of the Commonwealth Government) and that the traditional connection between the States and the Monarch in matters of State constitutional power had been overridden".(45)

Of the Queen's divided role, the Prime Minister of Canada declared in 1953: "Her Majesty is now Queen of Canada, but she is the Queen of Canada because she is The Queen of the United Kingdom and because the people of Canada are happy to recognise as their Sovereign the person who is the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. It is not a separate office... it is the Sovereign who is recognised as the Sovereign of the United Kingdom who is our Sovereign".(46)

As Donald Horne so aptly stated: "The Australian head of state is not an Australian, resident in Australia, but English and resident in London"(47). So, without playing games, the reality is that the Queen is, in fact, a foreign Queen, one chosen by the laws and customs of the U.K., a matter upon which Australia has absolutely no say.

Republic Versus Monarchy

Australian Nationalism Information Database -