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Australian court grants access to Queen's letters

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:17s - Published
Australian court grants access to Queen's letters

Australian court grants access to Queen's letters

An Australian court ruled on Friday that the country's archives must release letters between Queen Elizabeth and her local representative during the 1970s, a move which may shed light on the only sacking of a modern prime minister by the monarchy.

Edward Baran reports.

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An Australian court ruled on Friday that the country's archives must release letters between Queen Elizabeth and her local representative during the 1970s.

A move which could shed light on the only sacking of a modern prime minister by the monarchy.

The firing of Gough Whitlam by Governor-General John Kerr in 1975 remains one of Australia's most polarising political events, because it represented an unprecedented level of intervention by the Commonwealth.

A previous ruling has now been overturned and a legal battle by Australian historian Jenny Hocking has finally been won.

"It's a wonderful decision for transparency, for accountability of government.But most importantly it's a really really important decision for knowing the full story of the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

It's a story that's been absolutely clouded in secrecy, distortion and so much unknown." Kerr died in 1991 without revealing the extent of his co-ordination with the Queen.

Australia federated in 1901 but the British monarch remains the country's official head of state, although the relationship is usually ceremonial.




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Elizabeth II Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms since 1952

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