The Queen dies: Brits react to Narelda Jacobs’ call for apology for colonisation


Indigenous Australian newsreader Narelda Jacobs sparked a heated debate on social media after she called for the monarchy to apologise for its colonisation of First Nations people following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Her request was met with support from some progressive Australians but also backlash from Britons who feel they do not owe Aboriginal people an apology for the actions of their ancestors more than 200 years ago.

‘No one is owed an apology; the world has moved on. We have learnt from history and that is why all nations are in a better place now,’ one Brit tweeted.

Indigenous Australian newsreader Narelda Jacobs (pictured) sparked debate on social media after she called for the monarchy to apologise for its colonisation of First Nations people

‘Invading and taking possession of other peoples’ lands is a fact of human history,’ another wrote on Twitter. 

Some Britons and Australians argued that complaining about colonialism is a ‘waste of time’ because the issue is no longer relevant to modern society. 

One tweeted: ‘”Colonialism” wouldn’t be in the top 1,000 issues facing Aboriginal people today. Bourgeois activists like Narelda do nothing but divert attention and resources away from the problems that really need solving.’

Her request was met with support from some Australians but also backlash from Britons who feel they do not owe Aboriginal people an apology for the actions of their ancestors

Her request was met with support from some Australians but also backlash from Britons who feel they do not owe Aboriginal people an apology for the actions of their ancestors

Others pointed out that Jacobs is of Irish and English descent on her mother’s side, making her ‘as much British as she is Indigenous’. 

Jacobs’ late father Cedric was an Indigenous man and a member of the Stolen Generations, while her mother Margaret, who is white, migrated to Australia from Northern Ireland with her family.

However, plenty of Australians congratulated Jacobs for sharing her perspective. 

Some Britons and Australians argued that complaining about colonialism is a 'waste of time' because the issue is no longer relevant to modern society

Some Britons and Australians argued that complaining about colonialism is a ‘waste of time’ because the issue is no longer relevant to modern society 

One tweeted, '"Colonialism" wouldn't be in the top 1,000 issues facing Aboriginal people today. Bourgeois activists like Narelda do nothing but divert attention and resources away from the problems that really need solving.' (Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II in November 2017)

One tweeted, ‘”Colonialism” wouldn’t be in the top 1,000 issues facing Aboriginal people today. Bourgeois activists like Narelda do nothing but divert attention and resources away from the problems that really need solving.’ (Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II in November 2017)

Others pointed out that Jacobs is of Irish and English descent on her mother's side, making her 'as much British as she is Indigenous'

Others pointed out that Jacobs is of Irish and English descent on her mother’s side, making her ‘as much British as she is Indigenous’ 

‘Thank you, Narelda, for sharing your story. I hope there will be changes made,’ one supporter tweeted, as another added: ‘Great work, Narelda!’ 

Jacobs, a presenter on morning show Studio 10, expressed her resentment towards the monarchy on Monday and also said Aboriginal people shouldn’t be criticised for refusing to mourn the Queen’s death.

She described the British monarchy as a ‘symbol of colonisation’ and asked what had been done by the modern-day Royal Family to ‘make up for that’. 

One Twitter user mocked Studio 10's dwindling ratings

One Twitter user mocked Studio 10’s dwindling ratings

‘There was a great wrong that was done,’ she said. ‘Australia was settled without the consent of First Nations people that were here.’

Jacobs also confessed how ‘frustrating’ it was for her to hear stories of how her late father Cedric, a reverend of the Uniting Church in Australia, had met the Queen and Prince Philip in the 1980s to receive an Order of the British Empire.

At the time, Cedric was also in the process of drafting a treaty between Indigenous Australians and the Commonwealth, but apparently this was not brought up during his meeting with the Queen. 

However, plenty of Australians congratulated Jacobs for sharing her perspective

However, plenty of Australians congratulated Jacobs for sharing her perspective 

Jacobs, a presenter on morning show Studio 10, expressed her resentment towards the monarchy and said Aboriginal people shouldn't be criticised for refusing to mourn the Queen

Jacobs, a presenter on morning show Studio 10, expressed her resentment towards the monarchy and said Aboriginal people shouldn’t be criticised for refusing to mourn the Queen

Jacobs questioned why the Queen didn’t ‘say anything’ about the proposed treaty despite knowing about ‘the trauma from colonisation’.

‘They knew full well that plans for a treaty were afoot, as there were treaties [with Indigenous people] in New Zealand and also in Canada. But what did they do? That’s the source of the frustration,’ she added.

Jacobs said there was ‘more’ the Queen and Prince Philip could have said to her father, who died in 2018, about the ‘intergenerational trauma’ felt by Aboriginal people as a result of British colonialism and racist government policy in Australia. 

The Queen, who died last week, is pictured at the opening of British parliament in London, England, on December 3, 2008

The Queen, who died last week, is pictured at the opening of British parliament in London, England, on December 3, 2008 

Cedric was one of the tens of thousands of Indigenous children forcibly removed from their families from the late 1800s to 1969, in accordance with ‘protectionist’ policies, in what is known today as the Stolen Generations.

While she acknowledged ‘the monarchy is above politics’, Jacobs said she would have liked to have seen more recognition by the Royal Family of the effects of colonialism during the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

Jacobs then demanded an ‘acknowledgement or apology’ from the monarchy. 

Jacobs also confessed how 'frustrating' it was for her to hear stories of how her late father Cedric Jacobs, an Indigenous man, survivor of the Stolen Generations and reverend of the Uniting Church in Australia, had met the Queen and Prince Philip in the 1980s to receive an Order of the British Empire (pictured during that meeting)

Jacobs also confessed how ‘frustrating’ it was for her to hear stories of how her late father Cedric Jacobs, an Indigenous man, survivor of the Stolen Generations and reverend of the Uniting Church in Australia, had met the Queen and Prince Philip in the 1980s to receive an Order of the British Empire (pictured during that meeting)

At the time, Cedric was also in the process of drafting a treaty between Indigenous Australians and the Commonwealth, but apparently this was not brought up during his meeting with the Queen and Prince Philip (pictured in in Dublin, Ireland, on May 18, 2011). Jacobs said there was 'more' the Queen could have said to her father about the 'intergenerational trauma' felt by Aboriginal people as a result of British colonialism and racist government policy in Australia

At the time, Cedric was also in the process of drafting a treaty between Indigenous Australians and the Commonwealth, but apparently this was not brought up during his meeting with the Queen and Prince Philip (pictured in in Dublin, Ireland, on May 18, 2011). Jacobs said there was ‘more’ the Queen could have said to her father about the ‘intergenerational trauma’ felt by Aboriginal people as a result of British colonialism and racist government policy in Australia

Jacobs went on to defend the AFLW, the women's division of Australian Rules football, which received backlash for announcing it would not observe a minute's silence to mark the death of the Queen during the remaining matches of its Indigenous Round. (Pictured: Adelaide Crows players Eloise Jones, Danielle Ponter, Stevie-Lee Thompson on September 5)

Jacobs went on to defend the AFLW, the women’s division of Australian Rules football, which received backlash for announcing it would not observe a minute’s silence to mark the death of the Queen during the remaining matches of its Indigenous Round. (Pictured: Adelaide Crows players Eloise Jones, Danielle Ponter, Stevie-Lee Thompson on September 5)

‘While the world has united in grief over the Queen’s passing, colonised people have also united over their trauma,’ she said. 

‘Because we know that in British museums are stolen artefacts. Stolen gems, diamonds. There are human remains that are sitting in British museums, even now. And there has been no acknowledgement of that, or apology for that.’

Jacobs asked viewers not to be ‘dismissive’ of those who refuse to celebrate the Queen’s reign or mourn her death, and instead ‘listen’ to them and keep an open mind. 

Hours before her appearance on Studio 10, Jacobs posted this photo on Instagram of herself wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan: 'Another Day in the Colony'

Hours before her appearance on Studio 10, Jacobs posted this photo on Instagram of herself wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan: ‘Another Day in the Colony’ 

She went on to defend the AFLW, the women’s division of Australian Rules football, which received backlash for announcing it would not observe a minute’s silence to mark the death of the Queen during the remaining matches of its Indigenous Round.

‘Don’t attack them. Just go, “You must have really listened to be able to come up with that outcome,”‘ she said.

Hours before her appearance on Studio 10, Jacobs posted a photo on Instagram of herself wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan: ‘Another Day in the Colony.’ 

Jacobs also reposted an Instagram Story from the left-wing women's website Mamamia, which read: 'I am an Aboriginal woman. Don't ask me to mourn the Queen's death'

Jacobs also reposted an Instagram Story from the left-wing women’s website Mamamia, which read: ‘I am an Aboriginal woman. Don’t ask me to mourn the Queen’s death’

Jacobs said in a lengthy Instagram post that she felt conflicted about her late father's MBE and meeting with the Queen

She said the Queen was aware of how Aboriginal Australians felt about sovereignty, but did not say anything about it when she met her father

Jacobs said in a lengthy Instagram post that she felt conflicted about her father’s MBE and meeting with the Queen

She also noted how her father, who died in 2018, 'had a great fondness for Queen Elizabeth'

She also noted how her father, who died in 2018, ‘had a great fondness for Queen Elizabeth’  

She also reposted an Instagram Story from the left-wing women’s website Mamamia, which read: ‘I am an Aboriginal woman. Don’t ask me to mourn the Queen’s death.’

Queen Elizabeth was born 138 years after Australia was colonised by Britain in 1788.

She visited Australia 16 times during her 70-year reign. In 2002, she famously watched a cultural show at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns.

Queen Elizabeth (pictured in the drawing room at Balmoral, Scotland, last Tuesday, two days before her death) was born 138 years after Australia was colonised by Britain in 1788

Queen Elizabeth (pictured in the drawing room at Balmoral, Scotland, last Tuesday, two days before her death) was born 138 years after Australia was colonised by Britain in 1788

Australia has joined much of the world in mourning Queen Elizabeth II, as her death prompts the first change in head of state in more than seven decades.

A statement from Buckingham Palace early on Friday (AEST) confirmed the 96-year-old’s death.

‘The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,’ Buckingham Palace said. 

Queen Elizabeth visited Australia 16 times during her 70-year reign. In 2002, she famously watched a cultural show at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns (pictured)

Queen Elizabeth visited Australia 16 times during her 70-year reign. In 2002, she famously watched a cultural show at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns (pictured)

‘The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the Queen, who is succeeded by her son King Charles III in a move that is expected to renew Australia’s republican debate.

‘An historic reign and a long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service has come to an end,’ Mr Albanese said in a statement.

Australia has joined much of the world in mourning Queen Elizabeth II, as her death prompts the first change in head of state in more than seven decades. (Pictured here receiving flowers from schoolchildren waving flags after Commonwealth Day Service in Sydney in March 2006)

Australia has joined much of the world in mourning Queen Elizabeth II, as her death prompts the first change in head of state in more than seven decades. She is pictured receiving flowers from schoolchildren waving flags after a Commonwealth Day Service in Sydney in March 2006

‘The government and the people of Australia offer our deepest condolences to the royal family, who are grieving for a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – the person whom for so long was their greatest inner strength.’

Mr Albanese said that ‘from her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia.

‘Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours.’

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered his condolences to the Royal Family, the British people, and all his own citizens who held Her Majesty in the highest regard

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered his condolences to the Royal Family, the British people, and all his own citizens who held Her Majesty in the highest regard

He praised the Queen’s relationship with Australia and the rest of the world.

‘As monarch for more than half the life of our Federation, the relationship between Australia and Britain matured and evolved throughout Her Majesty’s reign,’ he said.

‘The Queen greeted each and every change with understanding, good grace and an abiding faith in the Australian people’s good judgment.

‘This was the deft and diplomatic way she bound the diversity of the modern Commonwealth, nations around the world who will mourn her passing.

‘This time of mourning will pass but the deep respect and warm regard in which Australians always held Her Majesty will never fade.’

The Queen first visited Australia with Prince Philip in 1954, arriving on the SS Gothic which steamed into Sydney Harbour after almost six weeks at sea. (She is pictured with Prince Philip at Parliament House in Canberra during that tour)

The Queen first visited Australia with Prince Philip in 1954, arriving on the SS Gothic which steamed into Sydney Harbour after almost six weeks at sea. (She is pictured with Prince Philip at Parliament House in Canberra during that tour)

The Queen visited Australia in 1954, 1963, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2011 - her last time on these shores. (She is pictured in 1981)

The Queen visited Australia in 1954, 1963, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2011 – her last time on these shores. (She is pictured in 1981)

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was queen of the UK and 14 Commonwealth realms including Australia, since her reign began in February 1952.

Governor-General David Hurley said Australians should take inspiration from the Queen’s contribution.

‘She was a truly remarkable person,’ he said in a statement.

The Queen's last visit to Australia came in 2011 when then Labor prime minister Julia Gillard described her as 'a vital constitutional part of Australian democracy'. (She is pictured in Perth during that trip)

The Queen’s last visit to Australia came in 2011 when then Labor prime minister Julia Gillard described her as ‘a vital constitutional part of Australian democracy’. (She is pictured in Perth during that trip)

‘When I reflect on my own memories – she was my Queen for my whole life – I think of Her Majesty’s dignity and her compassion. Her dedication and tireless work ethic. And her selflessness and unwavering commitment to the people that she served. To us.’

Federal opposition leader Peter Dutton was thankful for the Queen’s dedicated service.

‘Today, a comforting warmth has left the world. One of humanity’s brightest lights has gone out,’ he said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s full tribute to Queen Elizabeth II 

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Second, an historic reign and a long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service has come to an end.

The Government and the people of Australia offer our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are grieving for a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother—the person whom for so long was their greatest inner strength.

Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole.

There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

This is a loss we all feel, for few have known a world without Queen Elizabeth II. In her seven remarkable decades on the throne, Her Majesty was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change. Through the noise and tumult of the years, she embodied and exhibited a timeless decency and an enduring calm.

From the moment the young princess became Queen, shouldering the mighty weight of the institution into which she was born, Her Majesty made dedication to duty and service above self the hallmark of her reign.

She celebrated our good times, she stood with us in the bad. Happy and glorious but steadfast too. In particular, we recall the sympathy and personal kindness she extended to Australians afflicted by tragedy and disaster.

Throughout it all, she was a monarch who let her humanity show, performing her duty with fidelity, integrity and humour. In this, she was supported so long and so lovingly by the late Prince Philip, her “strength and stay” for 73 years.

From her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia.

Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours.

As monarch for more than half the life of our Federation, the relationship between Australia and Britain matured and evolved throughout Her Majesty’s reign.

The Queen greeted each and every change with understanding, good grace and an abiding faith in the Australian people’s good judgment.

This was the deft and diplomatic way she bound the diversity of the modern Commonwealth, nations around the world who will mourn her passing.

Today marks the end of an era, the close of the second Elizabethan age. This time of mourning will pass but the deep respect and warm regard in which Australians always held Her Majesty will never fade.

May she rest in eternal peace.

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