Australian citizens can actually ask THE QUEEN for this weird gift

Blanche Robertson
August 10, 2018

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

The "constituents' request program" allows Aussie voters who are eligible to receive "nationhood material", for example, Aussie flags, recordings of the National Anthem, as well as a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

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

Fancy seeing this face every day?

For those interested in following their Australian cousins, it should be noted only Aussies can receive free portraits of the Queen.

Melbourne MP Tim Watts had never received a request for a portrait.

MP Tom Watts told ABC he'd received about "four dozen" requests in 24 hours.

Mr Watts said it was more common to supply constituents with flags, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ensigns.

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There has been a sudden peak in requests for the Queen's portrait in Australia after it was reported by Vice that Australian citizens are legally entitled to a free portrait of Elizabeth II. He has threatened that he might include additional material when he sends the portrait.

'Some portraits of [retired Western Bulldogs captain] Bob Murphy and [former prime minister] Julia Gillard, some Australian Republican Movement membership forms and an invite to our Wattle Day barbeque at Williamstown beach'.

Fellow MP Terri Butler joked that whoever wrote the Vice article was "not popular" in her office.

And look, it's not just one photo of the Queen, either.

Surprisingly, UK citizens must buy the portrait - and in Canada the picture is downloadable.

Official portraits aren't available to other Commonwealth countries, including New Zealand, India, and South Africa. The programme is government-funded and was introduced in the Parliamentary Entitles Act 1990, although it was little-known until Vice reminded its readers.

In 1999, a referendum found that Australians wanted to remain a constitutional monarchy with 54.87 per cent voting in favour.

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