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Tea Leaves

Australia's republican quandary: how to pick a president

Voters are in no rush to dump the British monarchy, despite demographic change

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wave to a crowd of children in Bathurst, Australia, during their royal tour in February 1954. (Getty Images)

When Britain's Queen Elizabeth II first visited Australia in February 1954, three-quarters of the country's then population of 9 million people turned out to see her during her 58-day tour. I was one of them, standing under a hot summer sun among thousands of school students at Sydney's Concord Park -- later renamed Queen Elizabeth Park -- to wave as the monarch and her husband Prince Philip drove past in an open Land Rover.

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