Plenty of royal pomp and a feast of food for thought

How could the most avid republican not be moved by what the British know how do to so well (“Royal family enters new era as Charles is crowned King”,, May 7)? The pomp and grandeur of the coronation pageant was quite mesmeric. Rosalind Winterton, Maroubra

After the coronation of such a progressively minded King (and with his modern and attractive heirs in waiting), are reports of the demise of the relevance of the royals greatly exaggerated? Kirk Wilson, Berowra

It was indeed a right royal show – bells, quizzes, fit for a king etc. Perhaps that was what we needed to move us away from a fear-ridden Putin-like world where trust in basic human goodness has been removed. Some may rightly call it a form of escapism, but for others it is that moment that gives a sense of sanity. And at times we need just that. John Hill, Kensington

And, praise be, not a goose step, rocket launcher or nuclear warhead in sight. Rob Ferguson, Mt Victoria


<p>Credit:Matt Golding

On display, apart from pomp, was the ecumenical nature of the modern Church of England. Representatives of many religious denominations were welcomed to actively participate in the ceremony, an indication of the multicultural nature of today’s United Kingdom. And King Charles himself has apparently indicated that his designation as Defender of the Faith will apply to all religious persuasions in his kingdom. Many Australians will regard the pomp and circumstance out of date and unnecessarily expensive, yet the display of co-operation and tolerance is something to be admired.

Derrick Mason, Boorowa

Mardi Gras on steroids (without the humour). Glenda Taylor, Stanwell Tops

Halfway through the coronation and watching Charles and Camilla look like a couple of stunned mullets, I thought Liz’s funeral was more entertaining and more riveting. Alan Rosendale, Dulwich Hill

I simply couldn’t watch. It wasn’t the pomp, pageantry and anachronism of it all that got me. It was that poor Charles played second fiddle to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit: the three persons in none. It won’t be republicans who eventually pull the plug on the monarchy, it will be the eventual triumph of reason over religion that does the trick, leaving the monarchy with no faith to defend. And, on the evidence of the ceremonial pray-along, what other purpose does the monarchy serve? Trevor Somerville, Illawong

Well, thank goodness that’s over. Bordering on the ridiculous. Poor Charles, looking forlorn and unwell, so frail. I worried he may have toppled over. Of course he was nervous, but he’s had a long time to prepare. Disturbing, seeing three small children, gliding by in a gilded carriage, waving to adoring subjects. Surely a sense of entitlement must permeate their lives. This is all outdated nonsense. And the cost. Bring on the republic. Yvonne Kuvener, Wentworth Falls

What a palaver. Neil Reckord, Gordon (ACT)

Any eminent person could be head of state, not a politician

Your correspondent (Letters, May 6) seems to be under the impression that the only options for a head of state in an Australian republic would be “a politician or a totalitarian”. In fact, there is no reason why an eminent person in the mould of most of the nine governors-general appointed since John Kerr (1974-1977) could not fill the role of Australian president/head of state far better than an absentee hereditary king.
Those nine include former military officers, academics, judges and just one (former) politician in Bill Hayden. The only issue that needs to be resolved in transferring the role of governor-general to (say) president is that the choice of candidate cannot be left to the sole discretion of the PM of the day. Martyn Yeomans, Sapphire Beach

I don’t know that I’d describe our head of state as a “powerless figurehead”. The King’s authority affords to his representative in Australia certain executive and reserve powers, although the latter are not included in the Constitution. They include the power to: appoint a prime minister if a federal election has not resulted in a clear outcome; dismiss a prime minister if they have lost the support of the majority of the House of Representatives; refuse a request for a double dissolution; dismiss a prime minister or minister if they break the law; and to refuse a request from a prime minister to call an election. Although rarely used, some of these reserve powers have been invoked by the monarch’s representative in Australia. Springing to mind is the then governor-general’s dismissal of the elected Commonwealth government in 1975.
William Galton, Hurstville Grove

As one who loves the daft silliness of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, I have decided that this confected word “coronate” (Postscript, May 6) should be treated in the same manner. By subjecting it to all the ridicule it richly (and royally) deserves, I hope it will eventually disappear in a puff of smoke. Anthea Doe, Russell Lea

King Charles shepherding his son Harry into isolation at his coronation was unbefitting a King. If the monarchy is to have any relevance in the 21st century, it is by being a standard, such as a loving magnanimous father. Going small-hearted only confirms their irrelevance. Martin Bell, Balgowlah

Charles was not born to rule (“Born to Rule”, May 6). In the British and Australian system of government, parliament, and only parliament, rules. Charles was born to reign – a different role. Peter Thornton, Killara



Opera House snub shames us all

What a mean-spirited government we have here in NSW (“Sydney to light just two landmarks for King”, May 6). How can saving $100,000 be seen as a cost-saving measure, when governments of both parties have wasted billions of dollars of public money on such things as ferries, trains and light rail that do not work or suit Australian conditions. Chris Minns should be ashamed of himself for being a penny-pinching miser and setting up the state to ridicule. It’s fine for the colours of other events to be shown on the Opera House sails, but not the colour of our head of state. Robert Pallister, Punchbowl

Good enough for a queen but not a king?

Good enough for a queen but not a king?Credit:Mark Baker

It is very disappointing that Minns cancelled the illumination of the Opera House to commemorate the coronation of King Charles III, claiming budget constraints when money is always found for other occasions. Minns, a vocal republican, has used his position to punish the majority of Australians who support the monarchy. This decision was insulting, petty, mean and vindictive. Stephen Iacono, Rosebery

How has it come to pass that Australia’s first and greatest city can plead poor mouth and make no visible public display to recognise the coronation of King Charles III? What republican-inclined public official has contrived to steer a new government from the courtesy of proper acknowledgment of such a significant event? The limp excuse that lighting the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge or Sydney Town Hall is too costly has diminished all Sydney and NSW citizens. If we are to become a republic at some future time, that is no excuse for the insult that this state and city have given the current head of state. Sue Ellyard, Beecroft

Cut token ties

Julia Baird makes excellent observations (“King’s currency hinges on reckoning with the past”, May 6). King Charles certainly has his work cut out for him atoning for the devastating effects caused throughout the world by the growth of the British Empire. But in Australia’s case, as Baird relates, appeals to past monarchs by Australian Indigenous people have yielded little result. So, let’s not depend on the current monarch to right the wrongs done by colonisation. As a mature country, we have a way of addressing the situation ourselves: we need to legally cut ourselves free from Britain. Importantly, the Voice, truth telling and treaty are part of our Australian-led righting of wrongs. We cannot in good conscience continue to be a token “realm” of another nation that took this land and its people, and caused devastation, displacement and suffering that is still resounding today. No modern-day Australian should feel comfortable with this. By cutting ties and becoming a republic, we take another important step in the reconciliation process. We tell Britain and the world that our allegiance lies with our democratically elected government, and that we stand together with the Indigenous people of our magnificent and ancient land. Pam Timms, Suffolk Park

Julia Baird makes some important points. As a country, we need to focus on ourselves and recognition of our Indigenous people and their dispossession. Until we do that formally, we will not become the nation we want to be. Perhaps Anthony Albanese in his own humble way is showing deference to Charles, that quaint foreign leader, in the hope that Charles might support the Yes campaign and acknowledge the sovereignty of our Indigenous people. That is something our rag-tag opposition can’t bring itself to do. Geoff Nilon, Mascot

Class above

Prue Car saying that “public schools are not funded enough” shows that the NSW education minister genuinely values public education and its importance to society (“A ‘true believer’ takes over state’s education”, May 6). Rather than the tokenism shown to public education by the previous government, there appears to be an urgency to repair the neglect. Public schools need to be built so all families have access, no matter where they live. John Cotterill, Kingsford

Climate laggard

Peter Hartcher (“Why it’s go-time for green energy”, May 6) makes fine points about how the vision of Australia becoming a renewable energy superpower might be realised, yet ignores an elephant in the room. Like us, the US baulks at setting a broad carbon price, yet there is no likelihood of Australia matching the US subsidies for clean energy and we remain a policy laggard compared with the US, China and other nations.
Jim Allen, Panorama (SA)

Downward cycle

Just because something can technically be recycled, doesn’t mean it will be (Letters, May 6). While our lethal addiction to plastic increases, recycling remains woefully inadequate. Recall the farce that was REDcycle. Sure, put used blister packs in the boxes provided, but what happens to them after that is, sadly, anybody’s guess. Meredith Williams, Northmead

Guiding light

Gabrielle Carey

Gabrielle Carey

Many years ago I had the privilege of teaching some special students in year 10 English at Sylvania High School (‴⁣⁣I don’t want it to be my legacy’: Gabrielle Carey, Puberty Blues co-author, dies aged 64”,, May 5). I kept copies of the writing of two talented students to show other year 10 students what they could aspire to. Gabrielle was one of those students. The other was Kathy Lette. I am saddened to learn of Gabrielle’s death. She was the kind of student who made being a teacher so rewarding. Robert Adams, Kareela

Quiet abdication

The announcement of Stuart Robert’s retirement was overshadowed by a certain event in London (‴⁣⁣Politics is a tough game’: Former minister Stuart Robert to resign, causing byelection”,, May 6). Timing is everything in politics. Ruth Barcan, Berowra Heights

Coronation callers

Having just watched the coronation, I am sad to have missed out on Roy and H.G.’s commentary (Letters, May 6). It would have to have been preferable to royalty experts. Alan Slade, Dover Heights

Although Your correspondent (Letters, May 6) says royalty is best ignored – yeah, nah is definitely not the King’s English. Geoffrey Williamson, Woollahra

Strange brew

I sit in the sun for fun and coffee (Letters, May 6), my companion is an inaudible audiobook. I didn’t realise that those happy souls nearby were undercover coffee police. Anne Eagar, Epping

Family affair

Working from home indeed doesn’t mean working in isolation (Letters, May 6). My daughter had two cats and her four-year-old daughter, who was on Christian name terms with all her mother’s bosses. Heather Harman, Tuncurry

The digital view
Online comment from one of the stories that attracted the most reader feedback yesterday on
At long last, King Charles III inherits his birthright
From Just a tick: ″⁣A wonderful few hours of TV and a delightful coronation. It’s hard to see this celebration of all nations and faiths replicated in any other forum as successfully. Australia is lucky to have such a humanitarian and green head of state. Long live the King!″⁣

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Justin Scaccy

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