Political leaders are using the handover of Parliament to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
Both houses of parliament on Friday passed a motion to mourn the late monarch and congratulate King Charles III on his accession to the throne.
Parliament was suspended shortly after the Queen’s death two weeks ago.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it was difficult to comprehend that the Queen “belongs in the realm of memory” after 70 years on the throne.
“She was a rare and reassuring presence in a time of rapid change,” he said.
The Prime Minister reflected on the Queen’s 16 visits to Australia. She was the only monarch to visit the country.
“She got to know us, thanked us and hugged us. The feeling was very mutual,” Albanese said.
“In the process, Her Majesty has had one of the greatest experiences in Australia: sitting next to Bob Hawke in a race where his horse was winning.”
The Prime Minister also extended his condolences to King Charles III.
“We are thinking of King Charles who feels the weight of this grief while bearing the weight of the crown.
“At the dawn of his reign, I pray that His Majesty may rest in peace.”
Opposition leader Peter Dutton paid tribute to the Queen’s service and ties to Australia.
“Of course, most people had never met her, but[they]felt they knew her. he said.
“She admired the Australian trait of honoring those who do important business without making a fuss or getting media attention.
“But of course, wherever the Queen went, crowds cheered, clapped, and waved flags to express their adoration, choking the streets.”
Dutton said the values expressed by the Queen during her reign will live on.
“Perhaps Her Majesty’s greatest triumph will be the revival of the virtues and values she embodied in her life, the virtues and values we still admire today.
“Duty, Service, Sacrifice, Fortitude, Stoicism, Grace, Humility, Generosity, Empathy”
Green Party leader Adam Band offered his condolences but reiterated his support for Australia becoming a republic.
“The Queen’s death means that we have a new head of state who has no say in the matter. It is just the right time to have a respectful discussion about whether that is right for our country. It’s time,” he said.
“We can express our condolences to those who are personally grieving her, while also respectfully speaking about what that means for our nation.”
Green Party Senator Sarah Hanson Young also expressed condolences on behalf of the minority party, but spoke of the need for reconciliation with Australia’s Indigenous peoples.
“She didn’t try to separate the children from their parents or destroy one of the world’s oldest cultures by personally deleting them,” she told the Senate.
“[But]she was the government representative of that institution. We have to consider the generations of oppression, trauma and suffering as a result of colonization.”
British High Commissioner Vicky Treddel was in the conference room to hear the tribute.
Queen is a ‘rare and reassuring’ regular: PM
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