It wasn't all that long ago that Aotearoa looked like a nation that women were running. We had a female Prime Minister (Helen Clark), women as Governor General (Dame Sylvia Cartwright) and Queen (Elizabeth II), ladies sitting in the chairs of Chief Justice (Dame Sian Elias) and Speaker (Margaret Wilson).
Most of these women were amongst the first females to fill these roles, and with the exception of Her Majesty and Madam Chief Justice the jobs are now back with the boys. Which leads me to consider the next job that might change hands and revert to a man, that of the sovereign of our nation.
Charles as King seems so weird to me that it’s hard to even type the words. Elizabeth’s on all our money. That iconic picture of her with blue sash and crown is framed and hanging in all our RSAs and bowling clubs. King’s Service Medals, King’s Birthday, the King's English; it just all seems wrong.
Charles has been so neglected by the media since his marriage to Camilla (and rightly so imho) that when I think of the next monarch I think of Wills, not his father. I can’t be the only one.
I was playing Articulate with a group of friends a few months ago and trying to explain Port William; when I invoked Prince William in my aid I said “heir to the throne” and no one said Charles. It’s almost as if we are looking to the next generation already, when poor Charlie’s time has not yet been. Charles the Unnoticed shall perhaps be his moniker in our histories, if we remember him at all.
It could be a long time after Elizabeth II before we see another Queen. The republic may come for us in the Antipodes, and for those in Britain even, before that happens. In the first instance whether we have a Queen again will depend on what offspring, if any, William produces. If his eldest child is a daughter I’d hope that there would be significant pressure for her to reign after him; that we might see a future monarchy that is still based on the absurdity that someone’s genetic heritage is the most important indicator of their worth as a wealthy figurehead, but at least doesn’t demand that those with a Y chromosome are more suitable than those without.