Today co-moderators Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon condemned the Australian republic movement for igniting a debate about the monarchy before Queen Elizabeth II was even buried.
In an amazing spray on Saturday morning, Stefanovic said it was inappropriate to have such a conversation during a period of mourning, before targeting ARM chairman Peter FitzSimons and founding member Malcolm Turnbull.
He noted that the fact that the movement had “pasty white boys” as its flagships would guarantee its failure.
“There are still people out there who do that. I just find it so rude,’ he said.
“Let me tell you it’s not going to happen as long as you have pasty white dudes like Peter FitzSimons and Malcolm Turnbull in Australia,” Stefanovic added.
Langdon agreed, saying “I told Peter that if he were at the forefront of the movement I would always vote for a monarchy.”
While the Australian Republic Movement has temporarily suspended its push for a republic until after the Queen’s funeral, its leader FitzSimons has long campaigned for the British royal family to be wiped out of Australian political life.
FitzSimons has previously issued statements criticizing King Charles III, the former Prince of Wales, and told the Daily Mail Australia in June he expected Republican sentiment “to get a boost as Australia bends closer and the looking at the new king”.
He also drew the wrath of monarchists earlier this month by making a statement about the Queen’s death before Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had a chance to do so.
FitzSimons is married to Stefanovic’s former Today co-host Lisa Wilkinson, who is covering Her Majesty’s funeral in London on Channel 10 and The Project.
The “irony” of her role has clearly not escaped the notice of many industry figures, reports The Australian’s Media Diary.
However, sources at Channel 10 said there were no qualms about sending Wilkinson, who has had an impeccable knowledge of royal affairs as a magazine editor for decades.
The Queen’s funeral is also a “logical” task for the veteran broadcaster, a network insider told Media Diary while covering Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding for The Project in 2018.
Before that, she managed Nine’s coverage of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011 when she co-hosted the Today show with Karl Stefanovic.
Christopher Bendall, executive producer of The Project, claimed not to know whether Wilkinson was a monarchist or a Republican like her husband.
Australia last held a republic referendum in 1999, with the country choosing to remain a constitutional monarchy.
Britain, heads of state and royalty from around the world will bid a final farewell to Queen Elizabeth, the last towering figure of her era, at a state funeral in inimitable pomp on Monday.
At 5:30 GMT an official dead time ends after four days in which hundreds of thousands have queued to pass the coffin of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch at London’s historic Westminster Hall.
They, like many around the world, including US President Joe Biden, wanted to pay tribute to the 96-year-old, who spent seven decades on the British throne.
“They were lucky to have had her for 70 years,” Biden said. ‘We all were.’
Just before 1100 GMT the oak coffin, topped with the Royal Standard flag bearing the Imperial State Crown, is placed on a carriage and dragged by naval personnel to Westminster Abbey for her burial.
Among the 2,000 in the assembly will be about 500 world leaders, including Biden, Emperor Naruhito of Japan, Wang Qishan, Vice President of China, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The Queen’s great-grandchildren, Prince George (9) and Princess Charlotte (7), the two eldest children of the current heir to the throne, Prince William, will also be present.
“Over the past 10 days, my wife and I have been so touched by the many messages of condolence and support we have received from this country and around the world,” Charles, Elizabeth’s son and the new king, said in a statement.