First Anniversary of Previous Head of State’s Death

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Australia’s former head of state, died 12 months ago today. A year on, it seems that little has changed as the anniversary passed almost unnoticed in Australia – see “Huge first year for King Charles III” by Laura Elston published in the ACM press, a puff piece promoting the new monarch, clearly written for an audience in the UK and showcasing the British republican movement.  Australians have quickly become used to and familiar with a new person on the Australian throne: eldest son and heir King Charles III who has been around for quite a while. We see very little of the British royals on a daily basis. They are like a distant backdrop to our lives but they mean little to us in a practical sense. The King’s representative in Australia, Governor General David Hurley, keeps a mostly low profile but still sits at the apex of our government required to give many approvals and confirm appointments (see News of 11 September) as well as enact royal assent to our laws. So it’s business as usual. Even though missed by some as she fades from memory, Queen Elizabeth’s demise did not act as the great catalyst for the Australian Republic most active republicans claimed it would. WfaAR was not among them.