Australia’s prime minister deaf to royal wedding bells

Sydney – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her partner may not have had the prime spot for the royal wedding, tucked away behind a pillar in Westminster Abbey along with the butcher and the postman from the bride’s home village.

But Gillard cannot really complain without laying herself open to charges of hypocrisy.

James Hein, writing to The Australian newspaper today, is apoplectic that she is even there at all.

“How does it happen that our prime minister, who does not believe in marriage, does not believe in God and does not believe in the monarchy is sitting in church at a royal wedding today?” he wrote.

Gillard, in an interview in London with Australian national broadcaster ABC, said her attendance did not mean she was about to embrace any of the those institutions.

“A very good friend of mine has joked with me that before answering these questions, I should indicate it’s customary to wait to be asked as to whether you want to get married,” she said.

The premier said she and her hairdresser partner Tim Mathieson “will make our own arrangements about our own lives, but that doesn’t stop us enjoying this very special celebration.”

Gillard and Mathieson, who have been together for about four years, live in the prime minister’s official residence in Canberra.

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