Sunday 1 May 2011

Professor David Flint eloquently announces the resurgence of Australia's monarchist spirit

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Big show a blow to republic hopes

  • Sunday Herald Sun 

  • April 30, 2011 11:30pm

  • THE Royal Wedding was one of the most watched TV events in Australian history - a big blow for republicans.
    More than seven million Australians tuned in to see Prince William marry Kate Middleton to eclipse sporting events and become one of the most popular spectacles of the past 10 years.
    The success of the event has sparked proud monarchists to jubilantly proclaim Australia will not seriously consider becoming a republic for another 100 years.
    Royalist David Flint said Australians had "voted overwhelmingly with their remote controls" and destroyed any meaningful call for Australia to become a republic.
    "This really is quite a magnificent result," Prof Flint said.
    "Australians, in their millions, have confirmed their great interest in keeping a constitutional monarchy."Prime Minister Julia Gillard has previously said the Queen should be Australia's final monarch.
    But Prof Flint said he saw no hope for republicanism.
    "When the Queen dies there will be a coronation that will receive as much interest, if not more, than this royal wedding," he said.
    "Then there will be the interest in William and Kate's future children, Prince Harry marrying and his children, Prince William becoming king.
    "I can't see republicanism being a serious political force in this country for at least 100 years when you add the generations together."
    But Simon Bateman, of the Victoria branch of the Australian Republic Movement, said he was not surprised so many people watched the wedding.
    "The royal wedding has received astronomical media coverage so it does not surprise me that so many people watched it," Mr Bateman said. "I watched it and enjoyed it. It was a great event.
    "But a republic is not anti-royal or anti-British - it's simply recognising Australia is not Britain bit its own country. Australians value the royal institution but I think the vast majority of people would rather a head of state based on merit, not genetics."
    Globally, more than two billion people watched the ceremony, with 400 million more watching on the web.
    Channel 7 won the ratings battle, followed by Nine with the ABC taking third spot.
    Nine was awarded clanger of the evening, after its commentary team accidentally placed Dodi al-Fayed, the late former lover of Princess Diana, at the wedding. It was, in fact, the King of Tonga.
    Social analyst David Chalke said the royal wedding had four key ingredients that drew Australians in: culture, ceremony, celebration and celebrity.
    "There were five people to three in favour of Australia keeping the monarchy before the wedding and I estimate that will now rise to two people to one in favour," Mr Chalke said.
    "The world is a lot less certain, a lot less friendly than it was and I think Australians are locking into their culture and want to keep strong ties."

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