AS PUBLISHED IN INDEPENDENT AUSTRALIA
Outrage was palpable on the steps of Parliament House on 11 November 1975 as Gough Whitlam supporters flanked the media scrum to witness the sacked Prime Minister’s famous speech:
“Well may we say ‘God save the Queen’, because nothing will save the Governor-General. The Proclamation which you have just heard read by the Governor-General’s Official Secretary was countersigned by Malcolm Fraser, who will undoubtedly go down in Australian history from Remembrance Day 1975 as Kerr’s cur.”
The man Whitlam appointed as the Queen’s representative in Australia, Governor-General Sir John Kerr, had axed his benefactor. The Dismissal of Whitlam and his Labor Government was always shrouded in mystery and intrigue. The real truth of the machinations leading up to this unprecedented coup remain cloaked in secrecy and that is because Australia is not yet a republic.
READ FULL COLUMN IN IA
In retrospect: What he said and what she might have thought.
It was at Parliament House where Prime Minister Robert Menzies, a devout royalist, was to quote the 17th century words of Thomas Ford: “I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die.”
Sir William Heseltine Private Secretary to HM the Queen 1986-1990: “It was one of the very few occasions I think Sir Robert misjudged his audience. And I can remember that there was a frisson of embarrassment and this was perhaps reflected on the Queen’s own look on that occasion.”
Was Her Majesty squeamish? Take a look at the video