Prime Minister Howard announced tonight that he would not be opening the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Instead, the games will be opened by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane.
Howard has been under pressure not to open the games since last weekend’s defeat of the republic referendum.
His announcement tonight means that the International Olympic Committee rules requiring the games to be opened by the Head of State of the host nation will be adhered to, at least in part.
As the Queen’s representative, the Governor-General, is, in Howard’s words, “effectively” Head of State.
Many monarchist supporters refused to discuss the Queen during the recent referendum campaign, prompting Paul Keating to refer to their support for the monarchy as “the love that dare not speak its name.”