Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce during her speech on Friday 22nd of November has become the first Governor-General in the position’s history to come out in favour of Australia severing ties to the Monarchy. The very comments have seen some of Ms Bryce’s supporters turn on her very quickly.
Ms Bryce said “perhaps, my friends, one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation’s first head of state,” in reference to Her Majesty the Queen being Australia’s head of state.
Ms Bryce, Governor General of Australia
The Australian Monarchist League took to Facebook shortly after the speech to lobby its supporters to write to Government House and express their emotions.
One person wrote in response to the Facebook post, “Disgraceful. Perhaps if she doesn’t agree with the legitimacy of her position, we shouldn’t agree with the legitimacy of her pay check.”
While another said “It’s time for her to go.” Republicans on the other hand, took to social media praising Ms Bryce, with one taking to twitter saying “Can we make Quentin Bryce our first President already”
Ms Bryce’s overall speech was overshadowed by the comments, she also spoke of a ‘Fairer Australia’ and called for Australian Women to have their contributions valued equally.
It’s not the first time Ms Bryce has encountered controversy during her time as Governor-General. When the Liberal Party took power from the Labor Party in September, Kevin Rudd, former Labor Prime Minister resigned as head of the party to be replaced by Bill Shorten MP who is the son-in-law of Her Excellency. Ms Bryce then made contact with the Prime Minister to offer her resignation, which the Prime Minister ultimately rejected.
Ms Bryce, who has previously served as the Governor of Queensland, the first female Governor as well and is fully aware of her position being reliant on the Crown remaining in Australia, and is coming to the end of her term as Governor General, with many thinking that Monarchist Prime Minister Tony Abbott MP (more detail can be found on my previous post, Australia’s Governor-General swears in monarchist Prime Minister), whom she recently swore in, will not seek to renew her position.
Australia still being very divided on the subject of Republic v Monarchy, it is hard to tell if Ms Bryce’s comments will have swayed anyone.