Why we're like a teen who never moved out

THE royal pin-ups of Australian monarchists have made 50 visits to Australia since 1867 according to Wikipedia, including only six times before Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953.

The Queen has visited her southern colony 16 times in her fabulous 60-year reign. 

Her dorky son and future king, Prince Charles, has been here seven times during his 64 years, including this week's five-night sojourn.

The royal glamour boy and next in line, Prince William, 30, visited as a toddler in 1983 and then three times since 2010, although his latest visit in September with wife Kate was a mere transit-lounge stop-over in Queensland. They don't give us much time to get acquainted, do they?

The latest visit by Charles and Camilla is at our expense, as they career majestically around parts of the country in an RAAF VIP jet. 

They're here for the Queen's jubilee celebrations in a colonial swing through Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. In September, Prince William and Kate went just about everywhere but old England's most notable former colony.

While many Brits may hope that Charles and Camilla do an Edward and Wallis Simpson in favour of William and Kate, many Australians are more concerned with their country finally growing up.

Surely the years have taken the nation beyond the need for a reigning foreign head of state, with our junior version of the Union Jack. 

Surely the royals support England in the Ashes contests. Surely they swooned with delight when England's Jonny Wilkinson dumped a winning field goal on the colony in the 2003 rugby world cup.

Monarchists ought to note how the Brits routinely humiliate colonials at Heathrow by making us wait as aliens behind the queues of European Union passport holders, before being allowed to the immigration counters. 

I could dredge up Sir Winston Churchill's demands that our troops in the Middle East, sent over there to fight for the Mother Country, be diverted to Burma during World War II, rather than be allowed home to protect the colony from the Japanese threat in PNG. 

I could add that we have so little in common with Britain, except when we reciprocate working holiday pilgrimages. 

Having a foreign monarch as the head of state is so embarrassingly antiquated.

Yes, an Australian is our vice-regal representative, but Governor-General Quentin Bryce is the Queen's representative. Buckingham Palace still approves the appointment. 

The Queen approved the extension of Governor Peter Underwood's term as her majesty's representative in Tasmania. 

Apart from being a thoroughly admirable woman, what relevance is the Queen to our parliamentary democracy? What must the world think of us? 

A nation incapable of mastering its own sovereignty and which periodically grovels to a Europe-based monarch for permission to change its constitution.

A former colony that served as a remote penitentiary for 19th-century British criminals after London's penal ships filled up.

Our constitutional dependence on the Mother Country, like an insecure adolescent refusing to leave home, is a hard one to understand. 

Perhaps we needed a war of independence, or a few more bombs dropped on Darwin in 1942. 

Do younger generations know that our finest hour at Gallipoli in 1915 was a British military blunder (Churchill again), costing 27,700 Australian casualties?

Do they know how war-time Britain believed Australia was expendable?

Had Churchill got his way with our troops in those bleak early days in 1942, our foreign head of state today could have been a Japanese emperor.


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