The Way We Live for Sunday 13 February 2011

I have something to tell you.  Here goes: I am a republican with a monarchist trying to get out.  I can’t help it. I’m totally fascinated by the Royal Family. Or that should be Royal Families – plural. If you’ve got a crown on your head, you had me at hello (your Highness).  How bad is my obsession? I’ve marked William and Kate’s wedding in my diary so as to ensure I don’t make any plans for that night. And I’ll probably watch the wedding with my girlfriends eating Thai food on the couch while discussing in depth whether or not we think the marriage will last.  Because, you know, we’d have a clue. Obviously.  Then there’s the fact I’ve actually logged on to the Danish Royal Family’s website more than once.  And last week I hit a new low. I started following Clarence House on Twitter.

I feel so dirty.

My father think it’s hilarious (He would. He’s English). Brad however appears to be mildly horrified. “Mildly” being code for off-the-charts.  He doesn’t get it.  Actually, I’m not sure I get it.  Because the fact is I’m all for Australia being a republic. In a big way. And I’ve been pro-republic for years.  (Did you hear that sound? It was the sound of lots of monarchists getting out their Lady Diana Souvenir Wedding Stationary to write me an angry letter).

So there you have it. I’m one hundred percent behind the idea of Australia becoming a republic while at the same time hiding a royalty-porn addiction. So I believe one thing but am secretly doing another. I’m the Paris Hilton of Republicanism. (Too obscure? In 2008 Hilton was part of the Rock The Vote campaign to convince young people to vote. Except, um, Hilton herself doesn’t vote).

I’d like to point out that my royalty obsession was self-motivated. My mother could care less about them.  But not me. I created my own Lady Di scrapbook when I was about eight. When Princess Diana visited Brisbane back in 1983, I lobbied my local member to make it a public holiday so that I could have the day off school to go into the city to see her. (Strangely, my local member wasn’t into this idea. Go figure.)

Even my Barbies paid the price for my obsession. I decided “Golden Dream Barbie” should have the “Shy Di” hairstyle. Needless to say I grabbed my mother’s kitchen scissors and hacked her hair off in a manner akin to Edward Scissorhands after he’d had a few beers.  The result? She was less Princess Diana Barbie and more “Girl Interrupted Barbie” by the end of it.

So how did my parents cope with their daughters Princess Di obsession? By focusing dinner table conversation on an individuals’ contribution to the community.  By discussing the warts and all aspects of all walks of life. And – truth be told – by hiding the kitchen scissors.


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  1. Alison Triffett - Style Counsel on February 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Oh dear. Dear Bec. Deary me. I feel your pain, but perhaps not quite as badly as you’ve experienced it yourself. I too am a republican. But I too enjoy the thought of another Royal Wedding! Does that make me confused. Two-faced. Hypocritical? I dunno. I just know I will enjoy watching two (whether ONE wants to be or not) very high profile young people (but still just people who eat, poo, fight etc just like the rest of us) embarking on marriage/a life together…

    I’m a sucker for a wedding. I’m a sucker for a love story. I’m a sucker for anything that makes people HAPPY! Republican or not.

    GO BEC! You always make me happy. You keep it real! Always…Big Al x

  2. Deborah Martin on February 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I get it, Bec! I really do. Royals are fun, they are often (but not always) good looking, they get to live in cool houses (well, CASTLES, really), and they are very, very rich. What’s not to love? And yet with all these secret royal-worshipping tendencies I too am a proud republican. Australia is certainly capable enough and mature enough to stand on its own two feet and I hope it happens in my lifetime.

    But, I have to confess that my favourite part of our family’s trip to England last year was a tour inside Buckingham Palace. It was truly impressive, and kind of eery being in the same place that Liz and co. call home. I felt like this was a part of my heritage.

    And, just for the record, I too started a Lady Di / royal wedding scrap book in 1981. I was obsessive about cutting out every single story I could find – even ones about the gold that was mined to make the Royal Wedding Rings!

    • becsparrow on February 15, 2011 at 8:14 am

      Thanks Deborah! Glad I’m not the only one with a scrapbook!

  3. David Donovan on February 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Rebecca, great article — just feel happy that you are a republican.

    Now that you follow Clarence House on Twitter, please even up the dual sides of your personality by following the Australian Republican Movement too:


    The ARM is also on Facebook: Please join us.

    All the best,

    Dave Donovan
    ARM Media Director

    • becsparrow on February 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

      HI David
      Was moving house yesterday but I will certainly get on to that immediately! Cheers, Bec

  4. Chris on February 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I have never ever read so much “dribble” in my life. Yes its high time we became a Republic, but what actually is your article about.? You like thai food, your fathers English, you like chopping off a dolls hair, what are you an agent for Friday the 13th, Freddie would be proud.Your the best advert for sending us Repulicans back to being Royalists.

    • becsparrow on February 15, 2011 at 8:11 am

      Does it count as dribble if it’s full of typos?

  5. Rob on February 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Sweetheart, we don’t waste our Lady Diana Souvenir Wedding Stationery on Republicans!

    • becsparrow on February 15, 2011 at 8:12 am

      That’s because I bought it all!

  6. ex-london- Gal on February 15, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Having just spent 6 years in London (with one in–the- flesh KM sighting -almost getting a parking ticket) this die hard republican came to LOVE the Royal familiy. I even went to one of the annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, and it reinforced to me how wonderful they are…. for the Poms. xx

    PS Wills’ funniest line in a speech was to a crowd gathered at a modern art exhibition in Bristol, where he started by saying; “Before I begin, I think I should probably make an announcement, actually, I AM BANKSY!” (Banksy being an unknown famous graffiti artist – and a reminder that the current generation even has a sense of humour!)

    PSS I just LOVE a royal wedding!

    • becsparrow on February 15, 2011 at 8:13 am

      Me too! (And love that Banksy joke … I do remember hearing about him … is he still around in London?)

  7. Mark on February 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I do feel sorry for you, I really do 🙁

    I think its quite obvious what your problem is, your common sense is trying to make you relise that being a republican is just plain stupid.

    Let common sense take over, and give up this republican nonsense.

    btw, we are independent and we do stand on our own two feet, the Queen is Queen of Australia. Infact the Australian parliment has the power to alter the act of succession in right of Australia, and could even invite a Prince/Princess to come be Australians next resident monarch after the Queens reign 🙂

    Also if you like following royal info join these fb pages 🙂!/acmnorepublic!/AustralianMonarchistLeague

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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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