News / Europe

    Queen Elizabeth Begins Australia Visit

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth smiles as two-year-old Alexander Hargreave rolls on the grass on the grounds of Government House in Canberra October 20, 2011.
    Britain's Queen Elizabeth smiles as two-year-old Alexander Hargreave rolls on the grass on the grounds of Government House in Canberra October 20, 2011.
    Phil Mercer

    Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has begun an official visit to Australia, a constitutional monarchy, where she is the head of state. The 85-year old monarch will spend most of her time in the national capital, Canberra, before travelling to Perth next week to open a meeting of former British colonies.

    This is Queen Elizabeth’s 16th official trip to Australia, a former British penal colony.

    The monarch’s first visit here was in 1954, when it was estimated 75 percent of the population turned out to catch a glimpse of her.

    This visit is likely to be much lower in key, given the queen’s age and that of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is 90.

    Small but enthusiastic crowds have attended the Queen's first engagements, which included a cruise on the city’s biggest lake and a tour of a local flower festival.

    On a day trip to Brisbane, the queen will meet victims of devastating floods in the state of Queensland. In the southern city, Melbourne, she will ride on an iconic tram.

    Many Australians regard the queen with great affection, while others believe it is time their country had a homegrown head of state and became a republic.

    “I am excited. I love the queen," a student said. "I have actually just come back from England and I went everyday riding past the palace, took pictures and everything. So, yeah I suppose I am a monarchist. Yes. I think it is awesome.”

    “I think it is good that is all I can say. Just think it is good,” an older gentleman said.

    What do you think of the queen, VOA asked ?

    “She seems to be a nice sweet, old lady," the man responded.

    “She is a bit out of touch, I believe,” a young mother said of the monarch.

    “I am not that fussed about the monarchy," opined an older woman. "I am very much an Australian and Australia for a republic.”

    Australians rejected the chance to sever their constitutional ties to the British crown in a referendum in 1999.

    Republicans believe the monarchy has little relevance to modern Australia, while supporters of the current system say it continues to provide great political stability.

    Next week, the queen flies to Western Australia to open a three-day gathering of Commonwealth leaders, which is staged every two years.

    The grouping of former British colonies includes Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, Jamaica and Pakistan. The Pacific nation of Fiji has been suspended from the organization following a military coup, five years ago.

    The Commonwealth is home to more than a quarter of the world’s population. This year’s meeting in Perth will address issues surrounding poverty, security and economic growth.

    Queen Elizabeth will return home to the United Kingdom on October 29.


    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora