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Celebrating the Queen’s Ninetieth: Part 3: What Future for the Order of the Garter?


royal family
by Mary W Maxwell

Kingship Is Kinship

I refer to our tendency to be obedient, to want leadership, and to want to band with our group. These things are part of family life, which is the earliest experience of the child.

I believe this is why we have a monarch. It seems right to hold one person up as the model. In my opinion, the king is the father of the nation. Anything we might say about “royal blood” can’t be literally true, since all blood is the same. But it is OK to bestow the title of royal in a metaphorical way.

The Monarch Is There To Do Right

The following comes verbatim from the Coronation Service of Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953.

Her Majesty having already on Tuesday, the fourth day of November, 1952, in the presence of the two Houses of Parliament, made and signed the Declaration prescribed by Act of Parliament, the Archbishop [asks]:

Madam, is your Majesty willing to take the Oath?

And the Queen answering,   I am willing,

The Queen, having a book in her hands, shall answer each question ….

Archbishop: Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon…according to their respective laws and customs?

Queen: I solemnly promise so to do.

Archbishop: Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?

Queen: I will….

Then the Queen  … laying her right hand upon …the great Bible (tendered to her as she kneels upon the steps), [says]:

The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God….

Note: Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and South Africa no longer have a monarch.

American-Australian Monarchist, with Reservations

Having married into Oz from the US, I am happy to be a monarchist. Or to have any other arrangement that would work well. What I don’t like is living under a hidden government, as all of us in the world seem to be doing today.

Absolutely crazy men are making decisions about “the planet” that reveal their utter contempt for God’s beautiful creation. I say “men” as I don’t think they are women – not that I would know!

But however bad it is, it does not have to stay that way. We can fix anything. I don’t see anything to prevent the heirs of Queen Elizabeth from becoming great leaders.

When Kate Middleton brought forth her first child on July 22, 2013 — Prince George of Cambridge that is – I wrote a greeting to him and published it at RumorMillNews. It may sound full of backhanded compliments, but it’s sincere:

Welcoming a Baby Boy

An heir to the throne was born this week in Britain. His father, the Duke of Cambridge, his grandfather, the Prince of Wales, and his great-grandmother, the Queen, are all members of the Order of the Garter.

It is an organization dating back to the fourteenth century that is completely unaccountable to anyone. It has 24 members, invited at the pleasure of the monarch. The late Margaret Thatcher was a member, as is a former Chief of the Defence Staff, Baron Stirrup. The emperor of Japan is the one of several foreign members!

Since the Order of the Garter does not publish meeting minutes, you are free to guess what goes on. I guess it to be bad stuff — cabal city. I take its motto to be a general threat, including a threat to its own members.

The motto of the Garter is: Honi soit qui mal y pense. (Shame to him who says this is evil). This could mean   “Don’t you dare say that what we do is evil.”

Face it: any secret organization made up of extremely powerful people (the power usually having been ceded to them by a worshipful public) is going to do “evil.” That may as well constitute a working definition of evil: “what the unaccountable do.”

Thus, my birth-day wish for the new, as yet unnamed, heir to the throne is that he will decline to join the Order of the Garter when he grows up.  And once he attains the throne he can shelve the whole kit and caboodle!

Let him have a happy human life — indeed let him be the happiest and most human among us, a symbol of joy and wisdom. Let him not worry about “defence.” Let him defend nature and beauty, and protect tradition. Let him take counsel on how to alleviate human suffering.

May the sun never set on an empire of love!

Long live the king!


Does Australia Have a Royal Family?

When Oz got started it was a British colony and thus the entire royal family of England was Australia’s royal family, too. But by the time our 1901 Constitution was written, only “the monarch” got a foot in the door.

In 1973 there was legislation by Parliament to give Queen Elizabeth the specific style: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth (meaning the big commonwealth, the “Commonwealth of Nations.”)

Of course the heir apparent in our monarchy is Elizabeth’s son Charles.

The royal assent is needed for the passage of any bill in Canberra. That is done by the Governor-General, not by the monarch, though in theory it is done by the monarch.

An interesting development took place a few days ago when Her Majesty elevated both her daughter-in-law Camilla and her grandson William to membership in the Privy Council. Has the Privy Council any relevance for the Port Arthur case?  Let’s postpone that question to another day.

And now here is a video of our monarch speaking French.  It makes me wonder if any queen could really work for more than one country.  When she goes to France she must – must – use her wiles to deal with that county in the interests of the United Kingdom, no?  If Australia’s interests didn’t happened to accord with those, how could Her Maj switch horses?


Please watch this interesting oral history of Australians in World War II:


The series continues tomorrow, Insha’allah.

Photo credit: goodtoknow.media.ipcdigital.co.uk







    • OK. Mary screwed up. I don’t like the juxtaposition of the royal photo with the opening line of my essay about there being an “elephant in the room.” (The original plan was for this article to start off with the song of praise for baby George, or should I say almost 3-year-old George, but then I re-arranged the text.)

      Now I see that the article contains (maybe) too many issues: the role of the queen in ruling with justice (as in her coronation oath), the issue of leaders as inspiring role models (George’s future?), the human nature of kinship, and the participation of Her Maj in a secret organization (the Order of the Garter). On the other hand, the overload of issues is a theme in itself!

      It’s too hazardous for “the assistant editor of Gumshoe” to fiddle with the photo. The whole websote could fall apart if I touch it. (I may have a website bomb in my backpack — who knows?). Let’s wait till Dee returns to the helm of Gumshoe in July. Meantime, I apologize for the balcony scene – though it is a great photo – being located so near my rant about the elephant.

      • Update: Elephanto problemo solved – I’ve deleted the first two paragraphs of the above article. What an easy solution!

        Special thanks to the Negotiation Team (6 members) for help during this crisis.

  1. I think it would be nice to have someone to look up to as a role model. Unfortunately, anyone who considers himself or herself “royal” has already lost all credibility in that regard.

      • Speculator, Oz used to suffer “the cringe” (kowtowing to Mother England) and also had Tall Poppy Syndrome. This meant if any local aspired to greatness they should be chopped down as a too-tall poppy.

        That concern seems to have ended (since the mid-eighties) but by the nineties no one was aspiring to greatness, right? It has gone out of fashion. This is a pity. In the late 80s I could name many people that I greatly admired AND WHO WERE HOLDING FORMAL ROLES. It would have been a thrill just to converse with them.

        Where are they now? In three universites that I know of — in three different countries — there was an openly admitted policy of getting rid of good heads of departments and replacing with a meek Yes man. Someone who couldn’t possibly cause a student to feel thrilled while having a conversation with him/her.

  2. Well it’s something anyway. The US House of Reps has passed a resolution to censure John Koskinen, head of the IRS, for:

    “failing to comply with a subpoena and made false statements under oath as Congress investigated 2013 revelations that the IRS had subjected conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status to additional scrutiny.”

    Never mind that perjury is a crime and so the proper action is to indict him. And never mind that the vote was “along party lines.”
    And never mind that they won’t impeach him. It’s STILL something — a gesture against corruption.

    • Just happened to find this in a speech by Justice Michael Kirby, dated March 3, 2000, which contains lessons learned from the Republic referendum of 1998:

      “A successful and wealthy Sydney merchant banker and lawyer, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, was appointed to chair the Committee . The Committee produced its report within the year . The report canvassed the options for the selection of a Head of State to replace the Queen. These included:
      (1) Appointment [of Australia’s Head of State] by the Prime Minister; (2) appointment by the Federal Parliament; (3) direct election by the people; and (4) appointment by an electoral college.”

      “The Committee concluded that it was “both legally and practically possible to amend the Constitution to achieve a republic without making changes which would in any way detract from the fundamental constitutional principles on which our system of government is based” .

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