Wil­liam’s visit a boost to flag­ging spir­its

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

AUS­TRALIA’S monar­chists will be walk­ing around with broad smiles on their faces this morn­ing. The visit to Aus­tralia and New Zealand by Prince Wil­liam has given ‘‘ our’’ royal fam­ily a rel­e­vance which many felt no longer ex­isted. Aus­tralia’s ties to Eng­land have loos­ened sig­nif­i­cantly and repub­li­cans have been quick to point out hav­ing a head of state liv­ing on the other side of the world is ridicu­lous. The days of be­ing an English out­post and ‘‘ Bri­tish to our boot­straps’’ as for­mer prime min­is­ter Robert Men­zies once said, have long gone. We are now a truly mul­ti­cul­tural nation and the fact we are on Asia’s doorstep and not Europe’s gives weight to calls for us to have our own head of state and not a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the monarch liv­ing in Aus­tralia. How­ever, Prince Wil­liam has sin­gle-hand­edly set the repub­li­cans’ case back decades. His pop­u­lar­ity among Aus­tralians and New Zealan­ders can­not be un­der­stated. Prince Wil­liam has had an ef­fect on all the men, women and chil­dren he has came into con­tact with. Any­one who saw the Prince com­fort­ably min­gling with those who had waited to meet him could not help but no­tice the sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween him and his mother, Princess Diana. Like his mother, the so-called Queen of Hearts, this Prince Charm­ing has no aloof­ness. He has that same com­mon touch and an abil­ity to show gen­uine in­ter­est and, in this case, com­pas­sion for those he comes in con­tact with. Queens­land Premier Anna Bligh called him ‘‘ a real peo­ple per­son’’. Peo­ple in places like Card­well, Tully, Gran­tham and Toowoomba al­ways will re­mem­ber the time Prince Wil­liam, the fu­ture King, dropped in for a visit. Al­though only fleet­ing, his pres­ence has helped lift flag­ging spir­its. It will not re­move any of the pain or loss those peo­ple have been feel­ing since hav­ing their worlds turned up­side down by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters but Wil­liam put some ex­cite­ment and hap­pi­ness in their lives again which they have not had for a long time.

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