Australian MPs field sudden requests for Queen portraits

The royal freebie all Aussies are entitled to

The royal freebie all Aussies are entitled to

Gifted to her by then-prime minister Robert Menzies, the 92-year-old has worn the brooch to many Australian and Commonwealth events.

The Queen is Australia's head of state and is represented by Governor-General of Australia in Canberra, now Sir Peter Cosgrove.

The scheme was revealed in a Vice article published on August 8 that told readers they could email their MP to request a picture.

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.

As the Queen is sovereign in Australia - and thanks to the Parliamentary Entitles Act of 1990 - Australian citizens are actually entitled to receive a special gift should they request it - a portrait of Her Majesty!

Tim Watts, an MP in Victoria, joked: "I do find this to be comfortably the dumbest part of my job". He has threatened that he might include additional material when he sends the portrait.

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Another Victorian Labor MP, Ged Kearney, tweeted that while her office did have portraits of the Queen available, she usually received more requests for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

You'll have to buy a picture of the Queen if you're in the United Kingdom, while Canadians can apparently only download a photo.

New Zealand is looking to introduce downloadable portraits while other Commonwealth countries like South Africa and India don't offer official portraits.

In the past, there has been backlash over the initiative, with former Green leader Bob Brown slamming the portraits in parliament in 2012. I suggest that it go to ensuring that Indigenous people in Australia who are being deprived of their first languages be given an education in their first languages and that we stop some first languages going to extinction in this country.

About four dozen requests arrived in the last 24 hours, he said, adding, "I think 99 percent were tongue firmly in cheek". "However, if there are members opposite who can not find a picture of Her Majesty, I would be happy to provide them with one".

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