As the Queen is sovereign in Australia - and thanks to the Parliamentary Entitles Act of 1990 - Australian citizens are actually entitled to receive a special gift should they request it – a portrait of Her Majesty! According to the 'constituents' request program', voters Down Under are eligible to receive nationhood material, which includes recordings of the National Anthem, a booklet on the flags of Australia, a booklet on Australia's national symbols and a portrait of the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Australians can request a free portrait of the Queen
So how would Australians go about attaining their portrait? All they need to do is email their federal MP requesting the portrait. The official photo shows the Queen wearing the Australian coat of arms lapel pin as well as a brooch given to her on her first official royal visit to Australia in 1954. Unfortunately, if you're a UK citizen you can only purchase a portrait, and in Canada you can download one. Since the little-known fact that Australians can have their own free portrait of the Queen became public knowledge, citizens have rushed to request their own copy, with MP Rebekha Sharkie writing: "We've received more than 25 requests for a portrait of Queen in the last 12 hours," while Tim Watts joked: "I do find this to be comfortably the dumbest part of my job. But be warned youth of Gellibrand: if you request a portrait of Liz, there's nothing stopping me sending you some other 'material' in the same parcel."
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According to Vice, the funding of the project has previously been called into question. Speaking in parliament in 2012, MP Bob Brown said: "If there is extra money available. I suggest that it go to ensuring that Indigenous people in Australia who are being deprived of their first languages be given an education in their first languages and that we stop some first languages going to extinction in this country. I think that might have priority. However, if there are members opposite who cannot find a picture of Her Majesty, I would be happy to provide them with one."
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