The Royal Tour: Oh cringe of cringes! What abasement!

Oh cringe of cringes! What abasement!


This is the family history – one of conquering and plundering the wealth of foreign nations. One of participating in the starvation of the people of a sovereign State. One of philandering and debauchery. One of political assassinations and corruption in government. One that presupposes entitlement and privilege as being justified through an accident of birth. One that requires the people to bow and scrape before the head of the family as if they were a god. One that extorts a fortune from the public purse then proceeds to lock the public out of its gates. One that adores the adulterer who leaps the garden fence and catches her dress on the rose bush. One that plays and preys on the vulnerabilities of helpless people so that it can maintain its castles and jewels. One that sweeps bread crumbs from its table and speaks of its own greatness.


And yet here we are. A proud country. An independent country. A mature country? The ancestors of this family come to our shores and we pay them to do so (we are not arguing what they are, we are merely squabbling over the price). We paw at them like young girls once fell at Elvis’s feet. We assume intellect in their scripted platitudes. B-grade actors indeed!


Then, mercy of mercies, the best we can come up with is to throw the latest fellow-traveller a footy. “Handball it please ma’am” we ask, (its ma’am as in “ham” not ma’am as in “farm”) so that the media may see your impossible beauty and we may defile our character.”


Is that all we have? Is it the sum total of Melbourne’s cultural richness? (Don’t answer that). Will that poor hapless footy that left the hand of the woman wearing the $1500.00 dress and going by the name of Duchess (or some other such senseless title), will it end up on a golden tripod behind the Prime Minister’s desk; a permanent embarrassment. A stain. A symbol of our perpetual inability to grow the fuck up!


They should go forth and multiply these wretches from Europe. These leeches. These pretenders. And they should return their riches to the people to build the hospitals and schools they have stolen.


Royal visit. Royal exit please.





About Damian O'Donnell

I'm passionate about breathing. And you should always chase your passions. If I read one more thing about what defines leadership I think I'll go crazy. Go Cats.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Hear! Hear! Well said Dips! The tugging of the forelock has had its day, it’s time for a Republic, well overdue!

  2. Peter Stirk says

    Hi Dips
    Seems a bit surreal reading your treatise whilst sheltering from North Atlantic showers in the bronze-age settlement of Jarlshof in the very south of Shetland!! Thank God for the independent streak my Shetland forebears put into my bloodstream. Just loved your piece. And now the showers have passed I’m off for a pint!

  3. Goodness me. As a school kid in the 1970’s I hankered for an independent Australia, a republic.

    Four decades later it’s no longer even a distant dream. It’s not even on the edge of the agenda.

    Truly, “poor fellow my country.”


  4. Ivanka Trump is visiting??? I believe they were the Frumps in old Bavaria before Friedrich emigrated to New York seeking fame and fortune. Near neighbours of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’s who tried their luck in London. Wonder what became of them?

  5. Bob Speechley says

    I was dismayed when I picked up my paper on Thursday to see those “visitors” on the front page whereas on the back page was a picture including an uplifting feature about two Australian AFL footballers who came here as refugees from South Sudan.

    As a progressive country Australia needs to look ahead not backwards and not harness itself to an Empire that is well past its “use by date”.

    Our media needs to appreciate this widely held sentiment and deliver our NEWS accordingly. The Government should not be party such wasteful expense that so called “Royal Visits” entail.

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Quality rant, Dips. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a diminutive and fiery Irish lad !
    I often ask my newly-arrived students what they like about Australia and most of them like the idea that Australia is so ‘multicultural’. I then tell them that they can’t buy anything without the Queen of England on their currency and when they become citizens they have to swear allegiance to flag that still bears the Union Jack.
    Perplexed looks ensue and then they slowly begin to realise who has the real power in this country.
    JP Keating’s ‘Cultural Cringe’ speech is now 26 years old and yet the slippers are still heavily protected.

  7. Hey don’t stress Dips although I do agree with your sentiment. The ‘Visit’ does gives the media and the masses (some of them anyway) a week of smiles and superficial happiness – nothing wrong with that.
    Will all be forgotten in a week anyway then its back to walking the blues.

  8. Wonderful rant. I submitted a letter to the SMH during the week, echoing your sentiments. Of course, it wasn’t published! Simply can’t believe the mentality of some people in this day and age.

  9. There’s no way a rugby league dick like ScoMo will hang on to the footy.

  10. george smith says

    Well it worked a treat for her Majesty’s Own Government, judging by the election result yesterday. let’s hope that the days of a Royal or Presidential tour in order to shore up support for the Conservatives are long gone…

  11. Phil, diminutive and fiery Irish lad – does that equal ‘leprechaun’?

    Dips, did you notice anything about the footy the princess was handballing? It’s one of those rubbery ones.

  12. Lord Bogan – how dare you call me Irish!!

    JTH – I did notice that about the footy. Leather might be too harsh on the royal thumb. If one was to apply the people’s foot to the royal backside, one would obviously need to be wearing rubber boots.

  13. Well played, old mate. I could not have said it any better.
    What a bloody disgrace this whole charade is. To have kings and queens in the year 2018 is ridiculous, but we get what we deserve I suppose.

    I was given sound lessons in Irish history by my late grandfather, with a particular emphasis o the outrages perpetuated by the royal family. As a child, I happened to visit him on the day that Mountbatten took his last boating trip. My grandfather was in full celebratory mode “We got the bastard at last!”
    This was my upbringing.

    Your fellow Irish traveller.

  14. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    JTH, 3 leprechauns adorn my back yard. I’ve now christened one of them ‘Dips’.

  15. Peter Stirk says

    Worse to me than the royal watchers are the corporate types like the Fraser Coast Tourism chief who believes the royal visit will ‘raise the island’s profile’. And I thought the World Heritage listing of the world’s largest sand island had been based on matters of substance, and hard work by John Sinclair, FIDO and others, not just royal froth and bubble on the beach – oh silly me.

  16. What’s wrong with the present Royals? British Royals haven’t hung drawn and quartered anyone for a couple of hundred years. I’ve quite liked the last six or so Monarchs for this reason alone, and probably only this reason.

  17. DBalassone says

    Think it’s bad now Dips? Just you wait until the day Her Majesty kicks the bucket. Media saturation 24/7. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in the streets. The Herald-Sun will be published in red, white and blue for a month. The internet will break.

    The perfect time to book a cabin in the woods for a few weeks, methinks.

  18. Peter Crossing says

    Well said Dips. I admire your passion. Harry does seem quite genuine in his efforts with Invictus. A worthy cause and certainly more honourable than the “celebrity games” bollocks nonsense indulged in by various royal uncles and aunts some years ago. He has struck a chord with the competitors.
    The problem for me is the grovelling and the bowing and scraping of the media and many of the general populace. And also the politicians on the bandwagon of Invictus, who consigned our forces to futile, immoral overseas wars in the first place and then neglected to pick up the pieces. While Morrison was not in the parliament and thus part of Howard’s Iraq war he certainly created havoc with sovereign borders. And now he has the temerity and gall to invoke the Invictus spirit in his response to the Wentworth demolition.
    Bring on the Republic. Indigenous recognition, a new flag, a new Australia Day, a new anthem. Hasten the day.

  19. Ah well, at least she had her thumb out

  20. How did we get here? It’s mind-boggling.
    Brilliant piss-take thread on Twitter – of the Royal Tour – by @MrTimCallanan.
    Here’s a flavour:

    Harry and Meghan have touched down in Sydney and will now proceed to baggage carousel 21 before their first official engagement at Krispy Kreme
    6:12 AM – 15 Oct 2018

    Harry now having a quick durry while he waits for the shuttle bus…Meghan grabbing a muggacino at Gloria Jeans
    7:40 AM – 15 Oct 2018

    Harry gets a set up the back on the shuttle bus but a guy who smells like garlic mixed with Lynx Africa sits right next to him even though there are other free seats. Meghan doesn’t finish her ham n cheese toastie cos the cheese isn’t properly melted, just warmed and a bit sweaty
    8:00 AM – 15 Oct 2018

    The royal couple arrive at their hotel but can’t check in cos they can’t show the confirmation email at the front desk cos Harry’s phone went flat and he only just realised his charger doesn’t fit the wall socket. Meghan asks why he didn’t just print it before they left you idiot
    8:28 AM – 15 Oct 2018

    The royal couple finally check in to their room, which overlooks a Nandos exhaust vent. Harry goes mental cos the room only has two single beds. Meghan is fine with it to be honest.
    8:43 AM – 15 Oct 2018

    Harry asks the concierge where a good place is to go for a few drinks tonight. The concierge says Melbourne. Meghan turns on the telly and Sunrise is on. She rings Qantas and tries to get an earlier departure flight.
    9:06 AM – 15 Oct 2018

  21. Great one Dips. I am truly staggered at the public relations job that has been done over and over again to reinvest the Royals with a positive narrative. How the fuck does that happen?

    In 1977 the Pistols release God Save the Queen a damning indictment on a concept well past its use-by date. Its sales signal a new generation may just have turned the lights off on this already antiquated system.

    And who can forget The Holy Grail from 1975 and this scene:

    King Arthur: I am your king.
    Peasant Woman: Well, I didn’t vote for you.
    King Arthur: You don’t vote for kings.
    Peasant Woman: Well, how’d you become king, then?
    [Angelic music plays…]
    King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.
    Dennis: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    Monty Python could not have stuck a sword deeper into the ridiculousness of royalty.

    When Diana died in 1997 you were pretty sure the whole stupid game was up and the Royals would be swallowed up by a stinkhole of their own making.

    But they keep on keeping on. Hell Harry once wore a nazi uniform to a party and even that’s been conveniently brushed out of the picture.

    I’d love to see their public relations bill over the last 40 years. That would surely scare the bejesus out of even the most rusted on royal fan.

    I feel sick even thinking about this shit.


  22. Rick, you’ve worded it perfectly.


  23. Brilliant RK. Loved the Pistols version of God Save the Queen (and Who Killed Bambi?)!.

    I have my own theories as to why the Royals have made something of a comeback. I won’t go into that now, but suffice to say that people will fill empty lives with pretty much anything.

    Old mate Prince Harry looks a lot like his father doesn’t he!

  24. I don’t think this is one of our finer threads, especially when it’s taken until comment 18 before anyone actually mentioned the Invictus Games – the official reason for the visit. A pretty major oversight from a community that’s supposed to be interested in sport? Perhaps it’s a little inconvenient to acknowledge an initiative conceived by a member of the royal family that appears totally laudable in both its objective and its implementation?
    BTW, I don’t get the obsession with the royals either (and, for bonus points, I understand that I have an ancestor who signed King Charles the First’s death warrant!). But I don’t read the Almanac for cheap shots.

  25. george smith says

    The Invictus Games are one of those disturbing pastimes that give the Royals something to do. Unlike the spare Cardinals at the Vatican, who have parishes and whatnot, the Royal spare tyres spend their days trying to stay out of trouble on an income the rest of us, apart from American robber barons, can only dream of. As part of this deal they have to be seen to be doing something – hence visits to hospitals, tut tutting about land mines and opening bridges, all of which could be done much better by Mr Elton John and Mr Mick Jagger.

    We have seen what kings without kingdoms get up to – exhibit 1 the ex monarch of Egypt, King Farouk, who frequented the casinos of Monte Carlo and districts until his considerable sums of money were exhausted. Exhibit 2 the current Monarch’s uncle, Edward the V11111, who was sent to Flyspeck, Caribbean, in case his Facsi-boy persona upset the war effort.

    Then there is Mr Bill Hayden, capable statesman and supposedly Labor’s revenge for the Monarch and the office of Governor General after the way they were treated in 1975. Sadly the job overwhelmed him and he became the most obsequious monarchist you ever did see, while at the same time whingeing about his “duties” – “fetes worse than death”.

    A system of paying very rich people to do stuffall, in a kingdom far far away, does not make for an egalitarian Australia. The English can do what they like, but as the empire has long set, so should the monarchy, and her large swag of relatives do likewise.

  26. I think you’ll find they’re extremely expensive shots, Stainless.

  27. Yes, the Invictus games and the British Royals; what a twisted web we weave.

    This family has long been linked with the British armament industry. We can only be too aware of their links to the royal families in the Middle East, with the House of Saud having especially close ties with them. Cast our mind back to Prince Charles’s visit to the House of Saud in 2014, followed by a multi billion dollar deal to sell British Jets to Saudi Arabia.

    It’s not just the British monarchy linked to the Invictus games. When you think of the sponsorship provided by firms like Lockheed Martin and Boeing, you wonder how many of the participants are disabled due to the products of these firms? Big Business and war is profitable.


  28. This thread really is taking on a life of its own! Brilliant.

    Whilst I’m not sure I agree with George in every respect I do agree with the notion that the monarchy is probably good for England, but is very bad for us. Leaving aside the historical grief that the Poms have caused us (like Churchill not releasing Australian troops to come home and fight the Japanese because the empire was more important!), whether we like it or not England is now an economic foe (though Brexit may resolve some of that). The Poms have different interests to us, and we have different interests to them. Cut the apron strings!!

    The dripping, banal, soppy media attention given to the Royals is sickening. But the dripping, banal, soppy media attention given to most things is sickening I suppose!

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