Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch on 9 September 2015 when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria who lived to the age of 81. On 6 February 2017 she became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne. She is also the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.
Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth II also became the longest-reigning living monarch on 13 October 2016, upon the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.
The June long weekend has been the date set aside when we celebrate Her Majesty’s birthday. But why June?
The tradition was started by George II in 1748, owing its origins to the ageless problem of the British weather, that all British sovereigns are given the option of having an 'official' birthday. As the Queen's real birthday is on April 21 (b.1926), she chose to hold her celebration in June each year and this year she turned 94 years of age.
For the non-baby boomers, the following brief historical observations about the Queen highlight the impact she had on countless lives, and more importantly, the success of the Constitutional Monarchy as a system of government. During Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, there have been:Fourteen Prime Ministers in office:
- from Winston Churchill to Boris Johnson
- Thirteen Presidents in office: from Harry Truman to Donald Trump
- Seven Archbishops of Canterbury: from Geoffrey Fisher to Justin Welby
- Seven Popes during the Queen’s reign (Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis)
Upholding our Constitutional Monarchy
Presently, Queen Elizabeth II is the permanent head of our Constitution. By her very existence, the Queen and her successors ensure that our democracy, embedded in the Constitution, remains inviolate. Over-ambitious and overriding politicians cannot change this fact and as such, Elizabeth II, and her heirs and successors, remain our ultimate safeguard.
FamilyVoice has always advocated the retention of constitutional monarchy as the preferred model of governance for our Commonwealth and has encouraged all Australians to unite to defend our constitutional system of government. Whilst FamilyVoice recognises the different political views in the public square we continue to oppose the attempt by minority groups to promote a republican form of government. In fact, there is deep concern about the potential for ‘constitutional vandalism’ that would arise from policies postulated by progressive left-leaning political parties which seek to achieve a ‘republic’ at any cost.
As a monarchist, there are two issues of concern. First, there is concern that left-wing political parties pledge to attempt constitutional reform without respecting the constitutional provisions for change, which has the real risk of undermining public confidence in our civic system including its government and its parliament. Secondly, there is concern that the appointment of a ‘Minister for the Republic’ would contradict the Constitution and subject executive government and the office of the Governor-General to severe embarrassment.
While any political party is perfectly entitled to discuss and debate the republican question, it is not entitled to undermine respect and confidence in our existing system by inviting people to effectively vote against the Crown without offering any executable alternative.
There is every indication that MPs would not be able to agree on a model to be presented to the electorate in a referendum. Any referendum on a republic could lead to the same chaos which has arisen in the British Parliament following the Brexit debacle, when a popular desire cannot be executed owing to disunity within the Parliament.
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