Australia and the British monarchy have always made for an odd couple: the young, rebellious, egalitarian nation wed to the ancient symbol of colonial power. How have the royals come to be as popular now as they ever were? David Hill tells the story of this relationship from the beginning. Many histories have largely ignored the enduring role of the British monarchy in the political and cultural life of Australia. In this wide-ranging book, David Hill traces the highs and lows by setting his sights on watershed moments in Australian history. It is a relationship rife with contradictions. Queen Victoria became a towering influence in Australia and was more revered the longer she reigned—even though she never visited the place. The growth of the 1990s republican movement existed alongside the public adoration of Princess Diana. Ever since Australia was claimed as the territory of King George III in 1770, the pulse of the nation can be measured by its level of attachment to an aristocratic bloodline living on the other side of the world. With the recent rise in popularity for William, Kate, and Prince George, the monarchy looks set to enter the hearts and minds of a new generation of Australians. As one of our most popular writers of Australian history, David Hill is our reliable and entertaining guide to this most peculiar state of affairs.
David Hill has been chairman then managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; chairman of the Australian Football Association; chief executive and director of the State Rail Authority; chairman of Sydney Water Corporation; a fellow of the Sydney University Senate; and chairman of CREATE (an organization representing Australian children in institutional care). He is an honorary associate at the Sydney University departments of archaeology and classics and ancient history, and a visiting fellow at the University of New South Wales. Since 2011 he has been the manager of an archeological study of the ancient Greek city of Troizen.