You'll get used to it
There’s a royal couple visiting Australia, greeted by cheering crowds wherever they go. But there are no upper-crust English accents here. The glamour half of this couple speaks fluent Strine, while her husband, the Crown Prince of Denmark, sounds like a chef from the Muppets.
Well, OK, the chef was Swedish, but Swedes and Danes are virtually cousins, so you'd think he could still finish the odd sentence with “Börk! Börk! Börk!” to keep us amused.
But the fact remains, Australia and Denmark have worked out a pretty comfortable time-share arrangement over Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and his Australian-born Crown Princess Mary.
The Danish never really got a choice. Once we caught a whiff that one of our girls had hooked up with a good-looking European Prince Charming, we got right behind her. We barracked for them, shared their ups and downs, and in the end, like the Hills Hoist and World Expo '88, we made it happen.
And now we can’t get enough of them. Crowds cheer, magazines work themselves into a lather, and TV programs run live coverage. Even I, a committed republican, ate a Danish pastry yesterday, although it had less to do with the royal visit and more to do with that irresistible coquette of an apricot.
But amid all the excitement, a very serious question must be raised about our current overlords, the British Royal Family.
That question is: if the English royals really cared about us, wouldn’t they have declared war on Denmark by now? You can’t just go Crown-Princing around someone else’s realm, snapping up its women, and not expect to face consequences.
Buckingham Palace seriously needs to keep a careful eye on these two. I’ve read Hamlet. I wouldn’t trust a Danish prince with his own sister.
But I suspect there’s a reason that Her Maj is keeping her head beneath the parapets on this one. It’s because she knows as well as we do: we want change!
...Not too much change, of course. As a nation, we aren’t quite ready to trust ourselves to republicanism just yet, and why would we? We've seen the politicians we elect. So, let’s at least find some royals we like - and who like us back.
Sure, Wills and Kate are a cute couple, but Fred and Mary’s kids have something that the next few generations of Windsor monarchs never will: Aussie blood, wattle-scented, 75% zinc and purified by the wild rivers of Tasmania.
And at least they turn up occasionally. We don’t have to put on a bloody Commonwealth Games for them to show some interest, if sending their kid over to pluck a message out of a baton counts as ‘interest’.
No wonder there were thousands of cheering well-wishers at Bondi Beach as Fred and Mary kicked their official six-day visit to Australia at the weekend.
Even NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said he was delighted to have the royal couple back to Sydney.
"Like many Australians, we share in the royal romance and relationship that some have described as a fairytale," Mr O'Farrell swooned.
Fred and Mary then went off to visit the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. That’s right, they headed straight for the beach and nodded approvingly at works of art even though they had no idea what they were looking at. How Aussie is THAT?
(Excuse this aside for a moment. As a republican, I don’t spend much time bothering with the rules of royal etiquette. But apparently any report on a royal family has to include a description of their clothes.
So: the couple were casually dressed for the humid weather, with Mary wearing a cream sleeveless shirt, a white pencil skirt and orange shoes. Fred sported a pair of tan pants and a blue open-necked shirt.
Are we done now? Are royal fanciers satisfied that their idols didn’t accidentally turn up in the nude and embarrass everyone? Great. Perhaps I can get back to more important things.)
Here’s more proof that we, the Australian people, want a change of allegiance.
When Fred and Mary shook hands with several people in the crowd, cries of "welcome to Australia" could be heard. To anyone else, that might be a standard tourist greeting.
But if you ask me, this is the cry of forgotten subjects begging to be adopted.
Consider its meaning carefully. You are welcome to Australia.
Have it. Take us. We’re yours.
Later on - just over a kilometre from the Slip Inn, where the couple met during the 2000 Olympics - Mary hitched up her skirt as she and Frederik jumped onto energy-generating bikes to make themselves smoothies after opening an urban sustainability conference at Customs House.
Let’s see Charles and Camilla try that.
They wouldn’t. They’re too out-of-touch to know how much we Aussies love making smoothies with our bikes.
You want “in touch”? Ask one Sarah Robertson from Brisbane.
She asked Princess Mary for advice on twins, because her sister-in-law is expecting a set.
Princess Mary replied, "synchronisation and organisation."
Practical advice, straight to the point. You wouldn’t get that from a British Royal. For starters, who’s going to ask the Queen for advice on parenting? Look at her track record.
Prince Harry might have had some experiences with twins – in fact, I’d put money on it. But no doubt any question would elicit a rude gesture he learned from his grandfather.
So let’s be honest with ourselves, Australia. Time to cut the apron strings from Mother England, and patch them up with sticky tape around the bosom of Auntie Denmark.
The Danes are democratic, with a big welfare state, and they’re the least corrupt people in the world. They speak English in an accent we can understand. The weather is cool, the people are hot, and they write kick-ass stories about mermaids.
They even have a cricket team. And it’s one of the few we can still beat.
Det er tid, Australia.
Follow Gerard on Twitter at @DrJavaBeans
News content: AAP
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