King kingdom

Albanians to attend Queen’s funeral and meet King Charles, parliament canceled

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Governor General David Hurley will travel to London for events marking the death of Queen Elizabeth, culminating in her funeral at Westminster Abbey.

The session of the federal Parliament next week has been canceled, without it being known yet whether it will be postponed before the budget session which begins at the end of October.

On Friday, Albanese signed a book of condolences in parliament.

Ministers and deputy ministers were invited to an executive council meeting at government headquarters on Sunday.

There, the Prime Minister recommends to the Governor General to issue the proclamation relating to the accession of King Charles. Hurley will then read the proclamation to parliament.

In London, Albanese will attend the Lying in State at Westminster Hall and have a brief audience with King Charles.

After he returns to Australia, there will be a national memorial service.

The Governor-General officially informed the Prime Minister of the Queen’s death in the early hours of Friday morning and issued a short public announcement.

Albanese said that during her seven-decade reign, the Queen was “a rare and reassuring constant in the midst of rapid change.

“Through the noise and turbulence of the years, she embodied and displayed a timeless decency and an enduring calm,” he said.

“His life of faithful service will be remembered for centuries.

“In particular, we recall the sympathy and personal kindness she has shown to Australians affected by tragedy and disaster – from floods and bushfires to wars and a pandemic.

“His words and presence have been a source of comfort, hope and comfort to millions of Australians.

“Today marks the end of an era, the end of the second Elizabethan age.”

In radio interviews, Albanese deflected the question of whether the Queen’s death had brought Australia closer to a republic. “Today is not a day to talk about it.”

Labor said the republic issue was one for a second term.

But Greens leader Adam Bandt tweeted that Australia must move on. “We need a treaty with the First Nations people and we need to become a republic.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said: ‘A comforting warmth has left the world. One of humanity’s brightest lights has gone out. May our memories of our dear Queen inspire us with the best, just as she was inspired by her subjects.

Former prime ministers paid tribute.

Malcolm Turnbull said the Queen was a very contemporary monarch. He recalled when he had interviews with her in 2017 that she was “curious” and “on top of things.” King Charles was “a really good man”, who wanted to do good things, Turnbull said.

John Howard said the fact that two days before her death the Queen had performed her constitutional duty to accept Boris Johnson’s resignation and, on his recommendation, commission Liz Truss was a metaphor for her commitment to service, the duty and the right thing constitutionally.

Scott Morrison said the Queen had “royal humility”. He said she had a particular empathy with people in rural and regional Australia. “In our last chat, we talked about the mouse plague in New South Wales.”

Kevin Rudd, recounted how he told the Queen that her mother mistook her for “bee knees”,

“And the queen said, why was that? And I said, because my mother always said, you did a damn good mechanic in the war. And two, you and your sister stayed at Buckingham Palace when the place was bombed. The queen had enjoyed the story, Rudd said.

Officials said King Charles will appear on Australian currency next year. It is not yet known when the $5 bill, which depicts the Queen, will change.

In Australia, as in the UK, there has long been a very detailed schedule of arrangements to be made after the Queen’s death.