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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid