I am a strong Republican, and still bemoan the squabbling that led to the failure of the 1999 referendum. So, I am not in favour of us having the Queen of England - a foreign country - as our head of State.
Quite separately to my view on a republic, I am very grateful that Queen Elizabeth II has been the head of state of Australia for 60 years. I'm grateful, because she has been an exceptional person. So, on this diamond jubilee, let's celebrate the excellence of leadership that this individual has provided to our country, and forget for a moment whether she should have that power or not.
Great Queen Elizabeth qualities we can all aspire to
Calmness under pressure
The classic pressure moment in our recent memory was the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana in 1997. There has been much written about the Queen's response, but you cannot doubt that she kept her calm and focus, and ultimately responded appropriately.
Growing up through World War II, Elizabeth learnt how to cope with circumstances much more trying than any of us living in the relative peace of 2012 can imagine. That English resilience is shared by Queenslanders coping with floods, and Victorians recovering from bushfires (3 years ago today). Having a resilient role model has certainly been a positive.
Responsive to change
Unlike many older leaders around the world, Queen Elizabeth has been responsive to change. She has breached pre-existing royal protocols, held a huge party inside the grounds of Buckingham Palace for the golden jubilee, and moved with the times not against them over 60 years. Yes, she has her views and would prefer some things to stay the same, but on the whole she has been very modern.
How could you be loyal to a bloke like Phillip? Really! Well, it shows that a strong relationship really can withstand all sorts of pressures, quirks, gaffes and according to some reports, even affairs. For Queen Elizabeth, though, he has been her rock, and she has been his. Of course, her loyalty extends beyond the personal, to the national. She has been a staunch supporter of all of her peoples of the Commonwealth.
Good on you Elizabeth. You are a great woman, a great leader, and we've been lucky to have you. Long may you reign.
Let me know what you think