Tradition

The Governor-General as head of state greets Prince Harry on arrival in Australia.
The Governor-General as head of state greets Prince Harry on arrival in Australia in April 2015 for a four week placement with the Defence Forces. There is a long tradition of cooperation between the Armed Forces of Australia and the U.K. but in this instance the Prince’s visit related closely to his personal connexion with Australia.

It is easy in this age of globalisation to spurn tradition as being an unnecessary encumbrance from the past but in fact tradition reveals the past as an integral aspect of living now and in the future. It is the glue which holds the three ages of life together: the past, the present and the future in a constant forward momentum. We are all products of our past whether we wish it or not and our system of governance with its attendant traditions becomes a timeless reminder of this. Our Monarch is crowned in a ceremony which looks back to the Byzantine Empire - the notion of the Crown and the Orb and the Sceptre are all manifestations of previous ages and are still potent symbols. Without tradition we lose our collective identity. If we did not have traditions we would feel compelled to invent them. Australia is a relatively young nation but even so has over 200 years of history - all of it under the umbrella of the Crown. Our traditions have evolved over these years, some of them from the Crown and its authority and others home-grown. This is as it should be because the young today are best left to understand the present through the traditions of the past.

Preceding page: The Queen reviewing the cadets at the Royal Military College Duntroon after having presented new Colours in October 2011. This was the fourth presentation of new Colours by the Sovereign.