Secret royal letters revealed: Australians kept brutal truth from Queen

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SECRET royal letters have claimed the Australian government kept a secret from the Queen as “it was better for Her Majesty not to know”.

The letters, which have been newly released, claim that Sir John Kerr sacked the Whitlam Government in 1975, which was the federal executive government of Australia. 

There were 211 letters exchanged between Sir John and the palace at the time of the dismissal.

The letters were released online by the National Archives of Australia, in Canberra.

One letter from Mr Kerr said: “History will doubtless provide an answer to this question, but I was in a position where, in my opinion, I simply could not risk the outcome for the sake of the monarchy.

“If, in the period of 24 hours in which he was considering his position he advised the Queen that I should be immediately dismissed, the position would then have been that either I would be, in fact, trying to dismiss him while he was trying to dismiss me – an impossible position for the Queen.”

The letters were penned between the years 1974 and 1977.

The newly released exchanges had been locked up and labelled as private documents.

However, a High Court decision in May deemed them to be the property of the Commonwealth and thus able to be released.

 Secret royal letters revealed: Australians kept brutal truth from Queen

Secret royal letters revealed: Australians kept brutal truth from Queen (Image: EXPRESS)

 Secret royal letters revealed: Australians kept brutal truth from Queen

Secret royal letters revealed: The letters claim that Sir John Kerr sacked the Whitlam Government in 1975 (Image: GETTY)

The Queen’s private secretary’s response was also revealed. 

Sir Martin Charteris responded: “If I may say so with the greatest respect, I believe in not informing the Queen of what you intended to do before doing it, you acted not only with constitutional propriety, but also with admirable consideration for Her Majesty’s position.”

In the lead-up to the dismissal, Sir John and Sir Martin had discussed the evolving constitutional crisis, and the powers the governor-general may have had to intervene.

“Again, with great respect, I think you are playing the vice-regal hand with skill and wisdom,” Sir Martin wrote on November 4.

Secret royal letters revealed: Australians kept brutal truth from Queen

Secret royal letters revealed: There were 211 letters exchanged between Sir John and the palace at the time of the dismissal (Image: GETTY)

“Your interest in the situation has been demonstrated, and so has your impartiality.

“The fact you have powers is recognised. But it’s also clear you will only use them in the last resort, and then only for constitutional — and not for political — reasons.”

Almost a year after the dismissal  of the Whitlam Government, on September 21, 1976, Sir John directly wrote a handwritten letter the Queen.

He wrote that there would “inevitably be discussion in Australia about constitutional amendment”.

Secret royal letters revealed: Australians kept brutal truth from Queen

Secret royal letters revealed: The newly released exchanges had been locked up and labelled as private documents (Image: GETTY)

“But it will only be on the left wing, indeed on the far left that suggestions of fundamental change will be made,” Sir John said.

“The great majority of Australians want it to remain as it is, with all its imperfections.”

Altogether, the letters comprise 1,200 pages and include press clippings about events in Australia at the time.

Mr Fricker said his team at the National Archives had rushed to pore over the documents after the High Court ruled they should be released in late May.

He said the Archives would carefully consider the High Court judgment to decide whether any other royal correspondence in its collection would now be released.

Source: EXPRSS CO UK