Using previously secret government documents, The Chameleon Crown re-writes the history of Australia’s relationship with the United Kingdom and the Crown.
It makes clear that the Australian States remained colonial dependencies of the British Crown until 1986 when the Australia Act was passed. It was the ‘Queen of the United Kingdom’, not the ‘Queen of Australia’ who reigned over them.
For many decades historians, lawyers and politicians believed that the British Government’s role in advising the Queen on State matters was simply a formality and that the British merely provided the ‘channel of communication’ for State advice. This book reveals for the first time the true extent of the independent role played by the British Government in State affairs as well as the significant role of the Queen.
The Chameleon Crown takes the reader behind the scenes into the confidential negotiations between the States, the Commonwealth, the British Government and Buckingham Palace on the termination of the colonial links between the States and the United Kingdom.
This was a battle of high politics, played by the likes of Whitlam, Murphy, Bjelke-Petersen, Wran, Fraser, Hawke, in which the sovereignty of the States was at stake. It is essential reading for those interested in Australian politics, history and the monarchy.
A NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government publication.