Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip ended their eleven day official tour of Australia on October 29, 2011. At a huge barbeque event in the city of Perth, the Queen told the large crowd gathered how she and Prince Philip “have been overwhelmed by your kindness and support.” The visit was clearly a huge success, with eager crowds cheering on the royal couple throughout their tour. The Queen and Prince Philip’s final event in Perth was no exception, as tens of thousands lined the streets to catch a glimpse of them Though both the royal couple looked remarkably fit during the entire visit, there are some who have speculated that this may be the last or one of the last visits that the 85 year old Queen and 90 year old Prince may pay to the land down under. In her parting remarks in Perth, Queen Elizabeth said that, “”Once again we will return to the United Kingdom with fond memories of our time here and the warm Australian welcome we have received on our 16th visit to this beautiful country.”
Monthly Archives: October 2011
QUEEN ELIZABETH II IN AUSTRALIA: PERTH & THE COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEET: CHANGES TO THE LINE OF SUCCESSION
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are at the end of their 10-day official visit to Australia. On October 27, 2011 in Perth, the Queen visited Clontarf Aboriginal College and attended a state reception at Government House. On October 28th, the Queen opened a Commonwealth Summit in Perth. This year’s meeting has proven significant in that the leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries of which Queen Elizabeth II is their head of state, agreed to set into motion, changes that will have a significant effect on the succession laws governing the British monarchy. The leaders approved the introduction of new legislation at home that will overturn the current male primogeniture laws that has been in effect for hundreds of years. Once all the necessary legislation is passed and amended (including the 1689 Bill of Rights, the 1701 Act of Settlement and the 1772 Royal Marriages Act), it will mean that sons and daughters will have equal rights to the throne. No longer will males have precedence over females in the order of succession. Eleven previous attempts to change the succession have been unsuccessful until now.
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced that the changes would not be applied retrospectively and that they would apply to the descendants of the Prince of Wales. “Put simply,” said Cameron, “if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen.”
Another radical change will take place. Plans to scrap the long-standing law barring a potential monarch from marrying a Roman Catholic has also been approved, though the monarch still must be an Anglican by virtue of his or head role at Head of the Church of England. In referring to this part of the proposed changes, David Cameron said, “the monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is head of that Church. But it is simply wrong they should be denied the chance to marry a Catholic if they wish to do so. After all, they are already quite free to marry someone else of any other faith.”
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has hosted her first solo engagement at Clarence House, stepping in for her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales, who flew to Saudi Arabia to extend his condolences on the death of the country’s crown prince. Catherine stepped in as hostess in short notice at a formal reception held for the charity “In Kind Direct” which redistributes surplus goods. The Duchess looked elegant in an aqua blue floor-length Amanda Wakeley Grecian style gown. The Grecian style gown provided a stark contrast to a vivid red long sleeved gown worn by Catherine on October 13 when she and Prince William attended a function for the 100 Women in Hedge Funds in aid of the Child Bereavement Charity at St. James’s Palace in London.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh continued with their 10 day official visit to Australia with visits to Canberra and Melbourne on October 25 and 26, 2011. On her final day in Canberra, the Queen visited the Australian War Memorial and met with Australian Defence Force Personnel. The Queen and Prince Philip then departed from Defence Establishment Fairbairn Base in Canberra for Melbourne. On October 26th, the Queen officially opened the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
King Michael I of Romania celebrated his 90th birthday on October 25, 2011. The King is the only child of King Carol II of Romania and Princess Helen of Greece. King Michael is descended from the German Hohenzollern dynasty. He is also descended from Britain’s Queen Victoria through both his parents. The king is the last surviving leader from World War II. Michael reigned as king from 1927 to 1930 (under a regency) and then from 1940 until 1947 when he was forced to abdicate by Soviet backed communists. In 1944, King Michael bravely staged a coup against the Romanian dictator, Marshal Ion Antonescu, who was an ally of Hitler. Romania then joined the Allied side, a move credited by numerous historians for helping shorten the war and saving thousands of lives. After the king’s abdication in 1947, he has largely lived in exile in Switzerland with his wife, the former Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma. King Michael and Queen Anne are the parents of five daughters.
On the day King Michael turned 90, he gave a historic speech in the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest, saying that “the time has come after 20 years to … break for good with the bad habits of the past”. The king also denounced the “demagogy, selfishness and attempts to cling to power” as being unworthy or Romanian institutions. The king elicited a standing ovation from those present, saying that, “it is within our power to make this country prosperous and worthy of admiration”
I’m very grateful for the help King Michael gave me in my research for my first book, “Born to Rule.” He kindly discussed with me his reminiscences and impressions of his grandmother, Queen Marie of Romania, who is one of the protagonists in “Born to Rule.”
King Michael has endured great challenges in his long life, including having to battle the Nazis and Soviet communists as a young king. The New York Times in a 2007 article on the king, summed up his difficult life, which the newspaper described as having been “marked by betrayal” “from the beginning.” A dignified and quiet man, the King has led an exemplary life and it is hoped that in his twilight years, his wish for a prosperous, respected, and dignified Romania will bear fruit.
On Sunday, October 23, 2011, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh continued their official visit to Australia. On this day, the Queen and Prince Philip attended church in Canberra. Afterwards, they went on a walkabout and greeted cheering crowds. On Monday, October 24, 2011, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh left Canberra and arrived in Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city. Nine months ago, 30,000 homes in Brisbane were submerged in floods. The Queen paid tribute to the “resilience and courage of Queenslanders who bravely picked up their lives and rebuilt them.” The queen also thanked Brisbane for the enthusiastic reception, commending their “energy and optimism.” Thousands greeted the royal couple, packing the banks of the Brisbane River.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH VISIT THE ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE IN CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Royal Military College in Duntroon, Canberra on Saturday, October 22, 2011 during their ten day official visit to Australia. The presided over the presentation of new colors and inspected the troops. Prince Philip also attended, along with the Governor General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, the Commonwealth Studies Conference at Government House.