SHE'S QUEEN OF AUSTRALIA, HE'S KING OF THE WORLD

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The Independent Online
FOR AUSTRALIAN republicans, it was a bitter-sweet day, writes Kathy Marks. At home, their aspirations to be masters of their own destiny were dashed when the nation voted to remain tied to the British Crown. A few hours later, their hearts soared as they watched their rugby team beat France 35-12 in the World Cup final. The delicious irony of the situation cannot have been lost on John Eales, the Wallabies captain and a passionate republican, who accepted the William Webb-Ellis trophy from the Queen in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

In a long-awaited referendum, 55 per cent of Australians voted "no" to the question of whether their constitutional monarchy should become a republic, with an Australian president replacing the British monarch as head of state. Leading lights in the republican movement, who had gathered in a Sydney hotel to await the results, were devastated. But for Australian rugby fans who wanted the referendum to succeed, there may have been some comfort in the fact that Australia consistently beats Britain at the sports that it was taught to play by the mother country.

REPORTS, PAGE 21 AND IN SPORT, SECTION 2

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