This afternoon I visited the Bendigo Arr Gallery to see this amazing exhibition of royal portraits and memorabilia from the English royals dating from 1485 to the present day.
In one way, it was a little surreal: I have seen these paintings in history books, and the more recent photographs were familiar because I had seen them online or in magazines, so it was really strange to think I was seeing the originals.
In addition to being a most enjoyable and interesting gallery experience, it made me feel more connected to the history I have read and studied for so many years.
I really loved seeing the Tudor portraits, especially Elizabeth I whom I admire enormously, but found them all quite fascinating. Some of the portraits definitely felt more intimate and personal, while others had that sense of grandeur and formality that one might expect from a royal portrait. There was a good representation of men in stockings and garters, and some fabulously royal big hair.
It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon among royalty without having to dress up or curtsey to anyone.
If you get a chance to see this exhibition, I highly recommend it.
I’ve had a wonderful idea.
It’s 40 years since the dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s government in 1975 by the Governor-General, Sir James Kerr.
Tomorrow – September 9th – will see Queen Elizabeth II become the longest reigning monarch in British history.
What if Australia were to celebrate both anniversaries by having the Governor-General sack the PM again?
Australia would have a new lease on its political life, possibly even in time to prevent our becoming unable to ever look the rest of the world in the eye again.
The economy would receive an enormous boost because people would be throwing parties and holding street parades through every town. Freedom of the press to call it as they see it would return, and Australians could celebrate being Australian without wondering if they actually were on Team Australia or not.
The ABC could continue being fully funded and independent, we could go back to funding schools, roads and hospitals, and asylum seekers would be welcomed without being “filtered” according to artificially imposed rules and guidelines that make those who dream them up almost as bigoted as the people the asylum seekers are running away from in the first place.
Australia could once again be the “lucky country” with boundless plains to share, where the little guy can achieve something great once in a while without being accused of having a “sense of entitlement”.
Stop for a moment and think about it.
It really would be the gift that keeps on giving.