Australian PM defends non-curtsy
October 24, 2011 by staff
When the first politician greeted the monarch after her plane landed in Canberra on Wednesday, looked down and shook hands with the head of state. But the Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce, the Queen’s official representative in Australia, bowed.
Ms Gillard defended her decision during a series of interviews throughout the day, saying she was advised by staff that the processing protocol is optional.
She told reporters in Queanbeyan, New South Wales: “They are happy with what people feel comfortable.”
The Welsh-born Prime Minister, who is a Republican, added: “As I greeted the Queen reached out to shake hands, shook my hand and lowered my head.”
During an interview broadcast on radio station 3AW, he was asked if he felt a reverence was degrading. Ms Gillard said: “Some things that are, some things are not … I made a decision, I thought I would feel more comfortable with a bow on my head.”
But she went on to praise the Queen: “I think many Australians have it in a lot of affection and respect and I want to say, what life, what an incredible life that has lived for many generations of change, and see someone play a role as firm about the change so much, I think, is remarkable. ”
Cherie Blair, wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to bow to the queen. It was later revealed that she actually “achieved a sort of vague bob” at its first meeting and after that they tend to bow in place.
Ms Gillard first met the Queen on the day of the Duke of Cambridge’s wedding – April 29 – when he was summoned to Buckingham Palace for an audience.
Australian Prime Minister has backed calls from your country to become a republic. Speaking before the general election last year, said the death of the Queen would be a “right time” to Australia to end the tradition of a British monarch as head of state.
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