Queen Elizabeth II does not mess around when it comes to government shutdowns.
The reigning monarchy responded to the one and only shutdown in Australia’s history by giving every member of the parliament a ticket out the door.
After a budget battle in the Australian legislature in 1975, the government dealt with a shutdown similar to the United States’ ongoing crisis. However, under the queen, the monarchy’s official Australian representative Governor-General Sir John Kerr took matters into his own hands and simply dismissed the prime minster, reported the Washington Post in 2013.
Within hours, Sir Kerr had also dismissed the entire rest of Parliament and named a new prime minister who immediately signed off on a new spending bill. The Australian government was replenished after the country held new elections, and the rest was history.
According to the Post, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was given the boot after failing to negotiate a compromise between the Australian Senate and House of Representatives to fund the budget and on the morning of Nov. 11, he announced that they would be holding new elections for the half of Senate that was opposing the proposed budget. However, that wasn’t to be the case, as he was fired by Sir Kerr by that afternoon and was replaced in less than fifteen minutes by Malcolm Fraser, who pushed the spending bill through the deadlocked Senate with the help of his associates. The resulting chaos in Parliament led to a revolt against the new PM, but that the vote of no confidence against Fraser came to no avail when Sir Kerr fired everyone. His formal statement reportedly ended with “God Save the Queen.”
The 1975 government shutdown was the exception to the rule that, although Australia is technically ruled by the British empire, the monarchy has largely acted only as a figurehead and not exercised formal power. And since the governor officially acts only on the word of the monarch — Queen Elizabeth II — well, it just means she goes down in history for a bad ass government move.