British expats flock to Melbourne pubs to toast the new king

While not all Brits and Australians support the monarchy, and some recent opinion polls show support for the royal family at an all-time low, Susie, a self-described royalist, said she had always had a soft spot for Charles.

“He’s been waiting for this his whole life. It’s what he was born with,” she said. “People have their own ideas about the royal family, but I think he’s been misunderstood as a prince. I couldn’t be happier to see this tonight. He’s part of our history and our culture.”

Phil and Suzy Dunkley

Phil and Suzy DunkleyCredit: chris hopkins

Admiration for the royal family was the theme of the night at the Kelvin Club in central Melbourne on Saturday night.

Around 120 people rang through a private event at the club for the Australian Monarchs’ Union in the new royal era, with attendees dining on a British-themed menu that included beef Wellington and a Mountbatten-Windsor-themed cake made with a handful of historic Sword cut Lieutenant Colonel David Sydney Wanliss from the 5th Battalion.

Alessandro Rosini, a spokesman for the Australian Monarchists Union, said the coronation dinner was sold out two weeks before the event, adding that guests included active duty military personnel and former government officials.


“There’s a lot of interest,” said the 21-year-old journalism and political science college student. “We have an extensive waiting list, but we really cannot accommodate others.”

Among those in attendance was Geelong lady Antonia Kerr, who wore her favorite sparkly coat and black pearls. On Friday, she painted her nails the colors of the Union Jack.

The mother-of-five said her family has a special affection for King Charles. The last time he visited Geelong Grammar School, where he was an exchange student, her youngest son George, now 34, was a student at the school.

“He made a real impression on George, so our family really liked Charles,” Kerr said.

“I think he’s going to be a great king. There have been so many controversial events in history that he never reacted to. He has the ability to go above and beyond.”

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