Australians want free portraits of Queen Elizabeth

  • 18 Aug - 24 Aug, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Australians by the dozen are demanding portraits of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, after a news item drew attention to an obscure rule entitling them to such articles from local politicians.

Federal politicians in Australia, a constitutional monarchy whose head of state is the British monarch, are not obliged to hand out the pictures, but can claim an allowance to provide them, as well as items such as flags, at constituents’ request. The allowance has existed since 1990, but was little known or drawn on until reported by the press recently.

“I can say before the story was published, I had received zero requests for portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,” Tim Watts, an opposition Labor Party politician representing parts of Melbourne told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

About four dozen requests arrived in the last 24 hours, he said, adding, “I think 99 percent were tongue firmly in cheek.”