A Royal Christmas Message, 2008


Dear People of Great Britain,

I speak to you today from our new residence in the majestic Blue Mountains of New South Wales. It is an auspicious occasion, attended by particular regrets but also much gladness.

Who could have foreseen that the roots of English tradition and history might one day be drawn up and transplanted to the other side of the world? Thanks to the foresight of our ancestors two centuries ago, the heart of the Commonwealth now finds fresh soil in the southern dominions.

I cannot pretend that our present journey has not been accompanied by a great sadness. It was not easy to forgo the role as figurehead of your great nation. This was a responsibility that I had treated with seriousness and enthusiasm over the decades of my rule.

Great Britain has matured. You are a diverse nation, and cannot be represented, albeit symbolically, by such a singular family as our own. We accept that, but are genuinely sorry to leave our dear friends and loyal subjects.

We are most grateful to our new hosts, the Australian people. It was fortunate that this brave southern nation had carried its loyalty to the Crown into the new millennium. At the end of the last century, many were calling for an Australian to be Head of State. But the majority resisted, recognising that their Constitution had passed the test of time. The 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne showed the world how Australia still embodies the spirit of our forebears. Now their steadfastness has been rewarded, and Australians can stand proud in the world as a nation that has one of its own as sovereign.

One of the features we most treasure in our new home is the ethic of justitia omnibus a ‘fair go for all.’ My family and I are particularly pleased at the restraint that has thus far been exercised by the local media. In particular, I would like to thank the Packer family for re-branding the House of Windsor. Baron James Packer and Sir Edward McGuire have offered our family a positive role to play in their extensive media outlets in Australia, we no longer need fear the press.

But our gratitude extends further than our current hosts.

We are thankful to your government for allowing the sale of our family’s treasures. Sitting as we are now, in this majestic landscape, it seems a fresh new chapter in the history of the monarchy has commenced. Just as my family’s ancestors migrated from Germany to answer the call of the English people all those centuries ago, so we now respond to the needs of the subjects that have created a new English nation at the other end of the world.

The purpose of our journey has been to preserve, rather than sever, tradition. You will be pleased to know that we have established a Royal Australian Museum, with branches in each of the States. The Royal Houses in Manjimup, Maranboy, Atherton, Windsor, Warrnambool, Barossa, Canberra and Queenstown have stimulated local economies. Indeed, we are told that tourism, particularly from the Asian region, has increased threefold since the establishment of these museums.

We are also optimistic about the Royal House of Australian Wool. This new institution promises to realise the potential of the wonderful fibres grown in this wide brown land by designing unique Australian products, such as tartan suits and desert rugs. Indeed, we have been flooded with proposals to use our royal imprimatur for the support of local industries. Though we will necessarily be careful to uphold the standards associated with our family, we are happy to support the bold aspirations of our new hosts.

It is in Asia that we feel our family has an important role to play as ambassadors, not only of Australia, but of the Commonwealth in general. For too long, Australia’s standing in the East has been compromised by having a foreign Head of State. We are already seeing signs of change. Prince William’s recent visit to Indonesia has won for our country new friendships in the region. His study of the Koran and mastery of the Indonesian language has impressed many.

We are glad that relations with our northern neighbours are developing so well, and we look forward to realisation of a truly post-colonial Commonwealth which will include those who were once members of the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German empires, as well as our own.

Prince Charles has also had great success in gathering parties together to formulate the first draft of a treaty with the Aboriginal peoples of this land, which will be presented at a referendum next year. Harry, Prince of Tasmania, has enjoyed setting up bush camps for troubled youth. Our family have never been more productively occupied.

This coming year promises to be an annus mirabilis. Our family has a busy schedule of events planned for the royal houses. We would certain welcome you to partake in these celebrations and visit our new homes.

May I, in this my 55th annual Yuletide message to you, once again wish every one of you a very happy Christmas. And in the energetic spirit of our young, antipodean people, we say to you: ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!’

Queen Elisabeth I of Australia

About the Author
Jorge Malley
is an Argentinian-born writer currently living in Melbourne. For more details, see kitezh.com

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.