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Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-127421

Hansard session: Fifty-Seventh Parliament, First Session (57-1)

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Accession of His Majesty King Charles III

Mr BRAD HAZZARD (WakehurstMinister for Health) (18:50:54):

— On the passing of her husband Prince Philip in April 2021, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II famously said that grief is the price of love. The love and esteem that the community feels for Queen Elizabeth II is now very much on display through the outpouring of grief on the passing of Her Late Majesty. For many, including me, Queen Elizabeth has always been there, the rock in changing times. I was born in 1951, not long after World War II. Her Late Majesty became our Queen in 1952. In 1954 Her Late Majesty visited Australia and as a young child I was taken by my mother to see her as she passed Military Road in Mosman on her way to visit the naval base HMAS Penguin. It was particularly significant as my dad was a naval officer and had been in the navy for quite some years at that point.

That was the first of a number of passing interactions that I had with Her Late Majesty during my lifetime. At the end of 1965 my dad, who was a lieutenant commander in the navy, Ronald David Hazzard, took my brother Tony; my mum, Dorothy Anne Hazzard; and I to England. He was required to lead an industrial mobilisation course, which was a major training exercise, to ensure that Australia would be ready in munitions capacity in the event of any further conflict. During the 18 months I was there, my parents took me and my brother to various events where the Queen and Prince Philip were in attendance. In the United Kingdom, it struck me that Her Majesty's presence was very much an everyday subtext to the community's rhythms of life. With occasions like passing Buckingham Palace, it took little more than a sideways glance to see if the Royal Standard was flying, indicating that Her Majesty was in residence. Indeed, it was the same at Windsor Castle and the various other venues when the Queen was in residence.

One of the more low-key events that perhaps fitted within that context of the rhythm of life of the local community in Great Britain was a polo match. I attended a polo match at which Prince Philip was playing. Like any other proud wife, the Queen was simply watching on. It was a very low-key event, and it emphasised to me again how much the Queen was an integral part of the community of the United Kingdom.

Of course, there were also regular special occasions in the United Kingdom, such as the Trooping of the Colour, where the spectacle itself, along with Her Majesty, drew large and enthusiastic crowds. Her Majesty would put on regular garden parties at Buckingham Palace. Whilst I never had the opportunity to attend such a function, I remember my dad and mum were very excited to be invited to that event. Dad headed off in his morning suit, and I think mum worried about what she would wear for weeks before.

I think I am now the only remaining member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly who was here in 1992 when Her Majesty and Prince Philip formally opened the New South Wales Parliament. It was a great and grand day. We stood in the foyer as the royal couple were introduced to members of this place. My abiding memory of Her Majesty is of an elegant woman, with small stature but incredible presence. Her demeanour was a powerful reminder of why we as parliamentarians enter public life—a calling of service to our community. In my 32 years in this place, the Queen's constancy of service was always such a reminder. Through her actions, she was also a constant reminder to always put principle at the centre of all we do.

With her passing we now have our new monarch, King Charles III. I have had the opportunity to meet him only briefly, at New South Wales Government House a few years ago, but I am absolutely certain that he has learnt so much from his mother's way of conducting herself as the monarch of the Commonwealth. I am quite sure that her values will be found in the way he carries out his duties. On behalf of the community of the electorate of Wakehurst, I wish our new King well in the acceptance of his onerous new obligations. Long live the King.

Mr GUY ZANGARI (Fairfield) (18:56:58):

It is with great sadness and gravity that we gather here today in the Legislative Assembly Chamber to pay our respects to and to give thanks for the life of the only monarch most of us have ever known, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty was called to God after a lifetime of diligent service on Thursday 8 September 2022, a day that will live in our memories with a poignancy that many have experienced before us—the knowledge that our Queen had passed and the welcoming of a new era with the reign of King Charles III. A more poignant day cannot be imagined. Queen Elizabeth II, who committed herself to her nation and her Commonwealth family over 70 years ago, was no more.

Under the most tragic of circumstances in 1952—the premature passing of her father King George VI—Queen Elizabeth recognised and answered a higher calling. She has steadfastly reigned as Queen of England and head of the Commonwealth through the many changing faces of our world with a calm and serene composure, an unchanging touchstone for all of us. In fact, her 70-year reign will be seen in retrospect as a time that saw some of the greatest technological, industrial and social changes of any era. In her own iconic words on her twenty‑first birthday, Queen Elizabeth dedicated herself to her nation and the Commonwealth:

… my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family …

They are poignant words indeed, and remembered with affection when we watched her platinum jubilee—a first for a reigning British monarch. Queen Elizabeth was one of the most well-known women and leaders of the world, from when she became heir to the throne aged 10 to the day that she passed at her beloved Balmoral aged 96. Throughout her reign she was served by 15 British prime ministers. She met five popes and more than a quarter of all the US presidents, as well as countless celebrities and national leaders. She was a public figure admired the world over, but let us remember that she was also a mother. We remember her for the love she felt for her family, enduring many painful separations from her children to fulfil her many royal duties. Through it all, she remained a devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and cousin. In a sense, we all felt that she was everybody's grandmother as we delighted in her interactions with younger members of the royal family at official events.

Her commitment to the various charities and causes she espoused seemed tireless. She was associated with more than 600 charities during her reign, reflecting her extensive philanthropic work. We particularly remember her involvement with animal organisations—her patronage of the RSPCA and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Queen Elizabeth's love for and deep connection with animals began at a very young age. Her corgis became synonymous with her, her love of horses evident in her genuine excitement at the races. As Australians we share her love of animals, and we look forward to the continuation of her legacy of love and support for animals and for those who care for them.

Around the world this week, and particularly in Australia, we watched the funeral of our late monarch take place at Westminster Abbey. A staunch reminder of the timelessness of England's history, the abbey is also, on a more personal level, the place of prayer where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned. Despite being the anointed Defender of the Faith and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, chosen by God in alignment with her faith, Queen Elizabeth humbly trusted in the might of God throughout her many personal struggles and tribulations, and drew strength from her faith, sharing an unswerving devotion to God with people of faith.

On behalf of the people of the Fairfield electorate, my family and my staff, I pass on my sincere condolences to her four children—His Majesty King Charles III; Her Royal Highness Anne, the Princess Royal; Prince Andrew; and Prince Edward—and to all the members of the royal family. In a much changing world, Queen Elizabeth II was a reminder of a world gone by, her long reign a source of security for us all. As we look forward to the future and to the reign of His Majesty King Charles III, we will remember these days when a thread of sadness and nostalgia stayed with us as we collectively mourned the death of our late monarch Queen Elizabeth II. We thank her for her dedicated and diligent service to us as members of the Commonwealth. With her work finally done, may she rest in peace.

Mr PETER SIDGREAVES (Camden) (19:02:51):

The true character and grace of Her Majesty can be exemplified by a great many instances across her unmatched 70-year reign. One great example of Her Majesty's character is the speech she made on her twenty-first birthday in 1947. The then Princess said:

I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.

While that vow, truthfully fulfilled, is impressive in itself, it is more so when one considers the context of when it was said—within two years of the end of the Second World War. In a time of turbulence and uncertainty, the then Princess Elizabeth took a bold and stoical posture. Comforting those who listened, she said:

We must not be daunted by the anxieties and hardships that the war has left behind for every nation of our Commonwealth.

She went on to say that the difficulties faced were opportunities—a timeless lesson for us all. The then princess claimed that "an unwavering faith, a high courage and a quiet heart" is what is required to make the Commonwealth "more free, more prosperous, more happy and a more powerful influence for good in the world." It is profound that those words spoken by the then princess of 21 years old, 75 years ago, are still resoundingly true today. It is comforting that should we, too, have unwavering faith, heart and courage, we will move forward to create a positive influence for peace and prosperity. The then princess called for unity, noting that she could not carry out her resolution without the support of those listening, the Commonwealth—another timeless lesson that we must work together in our efforts for peace and prosperity, both locally and internationally.

Her Late Majesty, who was then Princess Elizabeth, became Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 25 on 6 February 1952. Her Late Majesty's impressive 70-year reign calls forth reflection of the stature and calibre with which Her Late Majesty ruled. The platinum jubilee celebrated this year is, as I have said before in this place, one of gratitude and one to reflect on the good life we have as free people of Australia. Her Late Majesty's platinum jubilee celebrated seven decades of selflessness and dedication to the values that sustain us and make us Australians.

During her reign, Her Late Majesty visited Australia 16 times. Her first visit to Australia was in 1954, which was also the first visit to Australia by a reigning monarch. She consistently endeavoured to acknowledge and enjoy all that makes Australia the great country it is. Her visits to Australia considered all facets of Australian life. Touring places like the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia in Broken Hill and at Mount Isa Mines, she addressed the character of those in the great outback, thanking them for their kind words and noting their "fortitude, courage, humour and friendliness." In 16 visits to Australia, there are many great examples of Her Late Majesty's involvement and celebration of Australia. For example, in 1973 Her Late Majesty was with us and opened the Sydney Opera House. In 1988 she partook in the bicentenary celebrations and opened Parliament House in Canberra.

Her Late Majesty's resolution, her vow of service, has been, as I have said in this place before, fulfilled in every possible way. Her inspiring and bravely stoic twenty-first birthday speech was a precursor to her powerful and tender reign, and her legacy and example live on. While we mourn the passing of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we offer our condolences and support to His Majesty King Charles III. We know that it is a difficult time for His Majesty. We trust that the Crown continues resting upon sage wisdom. We thank His Majesty the King for his renewed vow of lifelong service and for his endeavour to serve with loyalty, respect and love. God save the King.

Mr RAY WILLIAMS (Castle Hill) (19:07:45):

This evening in this House, I ever so humbly extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the entire royal family and to the people of the United Kingdom and the realms of the Commonwealth on the very sad passing of our former monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I do so on behalf of my electorate, the people of The Hills district, my family and myself. The people of The Hills district, like me, have very fond memories of the many visits that Queen Elizabeth made to this country. It has been nothing short of astonishing to witness the outpouring of grief, love, adoration, respect and admiration around the world on the passing of the longest serving monarch in the history of the United Kingdom. It is doubtful that a similar tenure will ever be achieved by another reigning monarch, especially the incredibly broad respect felt by so many for the Queen.

As a monarchist and a traditionalist, I note that the conventions of the Westminster system are very much enshrined in the monarch down through the government and are now enshrined in the Parliament of New South Wales. For the record, I note that during her first visit to this country in 1954, which was the first visit to Australia by a reigning monarch, Her Late Majesty not only visited places around Australia but also opened the Thirty‑Seventh Parliament of New South Wales, the oldest Parliament of Australia. As a young boy I attended the historical Rouse Hill primary school, which sits proudly on the hill at Windsor Road opposite Annangrove Road. When I was nine I joined 60 or 70 schoolmates to witness the Queen and her beloved husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, when they visited in 1970. They travelled past us at very close quarters. In those days, Windsor Road was a narrow, two-lane road. Because of all the schoolchildren, the Queen's vehicle slowed down quite considerably so that she could wave to the schoolchildren. We were mere metres away from the Queen and Prince Philip. It was a very special time.

On that particular day the Queen had visited the Central West. She had been to Orange to visit a business. She travelled down to Richmond to visit what was then known as the Hawkesbury Agricultural College. After that she visited one of the loveliest churches in this country, the historical 200-year old St Matthews Anglican Church at Windsor. The Queen travelled along Windsor Road, as one does when the road and the suburb have been named after your family, and passed us at Rouse Hill primary school. It was a very special occasion that stayed with the schoolchildren. The good educators of our school at that particular time would take on board the importance of such occasions and we would learn more about the monarchy by doing some study. They are things that have stayed with me.

As I have said, I have been a traditionalist for a long time, especially growing up with a mother of English background. My mother always held onto the high tradition of having a Sunday roast and Yorkshire puddings followed by Queen's pudding. Every now and then a threepence would be inserted into the pudding and we would dig around for it. They were strong English traditions that I fondly remember. In 2007, when I was elected to this Parliament, I was gifted a unique opportunity to travel to London for a week and represent the New South Wales Parliament. I was appointed to the Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management (Climate Change) and I represented the New South Wales Parliament at a conference together with just under 100 other members of the Commonwealth and continued for many days. When I say it was a unique opportunity, indeed it was because I was in opposition at that time and those privileges certainly were not usually gifted to the opposition.

During the conference, I met the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown, with whom I chatted for some time. On the very last day, a few of us were given an opportunity to undertake a royal tour of Westminster Palace. Only about a dozen of us were able to do that; many others had to leave. But I did not have to be back at Heathrow Airport until approximately nine o'clock that night. It was a fascinating tour. The lady who was our tour guide had undertaken to do what were known as royal tours over the past 40 years, so her background and knowledge of everything in regards to the monarchy and the Westminster Palace was unparalleled. We went through the House of Lords and the House of Commons. We saw the Speaker's chair, which was proudly replaced by the New South Wales Government after the large fire in Westminster Palace in 1926. We learnt about some incredible traditions. We visited Westminster Hall, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II lay in state prior to her funeral a few days ago. It was an extraordinary time. Some of the stories that our tour guide gave us have stayed with me. Perhaps I can put them on the record now, because one of the important conventions of our Westminster system is a separation between the monarchy and the government. That dates back to Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I. Of course, as history shows, King Charles I breached those conventions and was executed for his troubles in the great hall. There is a plaque on the ground, which I viewed and which was quite profound. The monarch is never to enter the House of Commons. Those conventions are maintained here in the New South Wales Parliament. That is why we have the upper House and they have the House of Lords in England.

As the tour guide explained, some time in the early 1940s, when Queen Elizabeth II was a mere lass of about 15 years of age, she undertook a tour together with some schoolchildren. As we see every day of the week here in the New South Wales Parliament, many schoolchildren visit for educational purposes. Princess Elizabeth, as she was known at the time, undertook one of those tours with schoolchildren and sat in the public gallery in the House of Commons all those years ago. She was the heir apparent at the time because her father, George VI, became King after his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated; and so Princess Elizabeth was sitting in the public gallery of the House of Commons.

We can only be grateful that the fate that befell poor King Charles I did not befall Princess Elizabeth at the time, else we would not have had such a fascinating monarch. It was an interesting story. I am sure it was well known in England but it is less well known here. I thought it was incredible because had a monarch been observed to be in the House of Commons, she would have been removed quite quickly. In closing, I know God will save our Queen. I feel quite sure of that. Ma'am, you have done your duty well and we are all the better for your service. May you rest in peace. God save the King.

Mr DAVID LAYZELL (Upper Hunter) (19:17:19):

On behalf of the people of Upper Hunter I make a contribution to debate on this very important motion and give our sincere condolences to the new King Charles III on the passing of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was a queen, a mother, a grandmother, a great‑grandmother, an aunt, a cousin and a friend to many. She was a devoted servant to her faith and we all feel the loss of her presence in our communities. She gave her life to public service. I think we are only just starting to feel the depth of commitment that she gave. Yes, there are a lot of traditions. Yes, there are a lot of privileges. But on the flip side, there is a lot of hard work and the Queen certainly was a hard worker, for her faith, for her country and for the Commonwealth.

She faced a great deal of pressure and public scrutiny. When the times were up, they were up. But there were times when that tide turned, or when the national sentiment was down. That is when she showed us the meaning of resilience. She was a leader with grit and steely determination, a leader with grace and nobility when times were good, but she showed leadership at times when it was really needed. She has been an ongoing presence in our lives for so long. She has watched over us in our halls and in our schools. Across my electorate her portrait looked down at us, whether in the Girl Guides hall at Gloucester, the Country Women's Association hall in Singleton, the Scouts hall in Scone, the School of Arts hall in Merriwa, the seniors centre in Clarence Town or the civic centre in Muswellbrook.

Just a few weeks ago I was in Cassilis, at the spring ball. It was everything you could imagine of a country masquerade ball. Everyone was dressed up. There were lots of multigenerational friends coming together to celebrate. It had been a very long time since we had held these events. Of course, sitting at the end of the hall was the portrait of the Queen, looking over us. I turned to one of the old farmers there and spoke to him. We made a toast to the Queen and said, "We might need to change that portrait now." Of course, the old farmer—he was not that old, just a few years older than me—said there was no way that that portrait was ever going to come down. We will find another place for the King in that hall. Time may change that fact, but the sense of feeling will not. I share that story to explain the depth of feeling that people have in Upper Hunter for our dearly beloved Queen.

In this House and throughout the electorate I have heard stories where people have either met the Queen or been in the presence of the Queen or had a fleeting glance of the Queen. Unfortunately, I cannot bring any of those stories to the House. But I can, under parliamentary privilege, explain to the House that my grandfather was quite the hunter. I hope the Queen, looking down on us, forgives me for saying this, but he was quite proud of the pheasant that he used to hunt on the Queen's lands. My mother said he was always very proud of bringing home that pheasant and putting it on the table. Some might call it poaching, but after the passage of time I hope that the Queen will forgive the trespasses of my family on her lands.

My Heart's in the Highlands

Something we all share with the Queen and the entire royal family is a love of the countryside. She had a great love of Balmoral, where she finally passed, and of the open air and hiking. It is about a connection to land, which is something Australians understand. We love our lives in regional New South Wales, in Upper Hunter. I know the Queen showed a deep interest in the lives of many who live in regional Australia. I finish with a poem that my grandfather truly loved. I know the Queen also had a lot of respect for the Scottish poet Robert Burns. The poem is :

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,

The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;

Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,

The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,

My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;

Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,

My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains, high-cover'd with snow,

Farewell to the straths and green vallies below;

Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,

Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,

My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;

Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,

My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

On behalf of the people of Upper Hunter, farewell to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. May she rest in peace. We congratulate the new King Charles III on his accession. May all his lands and people prosper under his reign. God save the King.

Mr MARK COURE (OatleyMinister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Seniors) (19:23:44):

— With deepest sympathies I pay my respects to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for a life of invaluable service and duty to her country and the Commonwealth. As we have paused over the past week or so to reflect on Her Late Majesty's life, it has been hard not to be struck by the history of this moment and the sense that with her passing we have lost an enduring link to our own past, that we have lost a constant and stabilising presence.

While we mourn the passing of Her Late Majesty, many of us are also reflecting on her decades of devotion to duty. We are celebrating a long life lived well, a life that was devoted to country, family and faith. We are paying our respects to someone who simply carried on without complaint to serve the public. That was always what was most admired about Her Late Majesty. Despite the advancing years, she just kept working; she kept doing her duty. That duty was carried out to her very last days when she swore in her fifteenth Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Not only did Her Late Majesty dedicate her life to serving her own country for seven decades; she also dedicated her life to serving the Commonwealth.

There is no doubt that Australia held a special place in her heart. Visiting Australia 16 times, Her Late Majesty always arrived to much fanfare. In particular, the people of New South Wales came out in droves to show their admiration and love for Her Late Majesty. I am pleased to say that Her Late Majesty was able to visit the St George area on multiple occasions. The first visit took place only one year after her coronation, on 11 February 1954 when she passed through St George Hospital. Awaiting her arrival were over 300 uniformed doctors and nurses and 100 patients, mostly children, who wished to show the royal guests Australia's affection towards them. Many of them joined together in holding up a 12-metre-long sign that read, "The St George Hospital Welcomes Her Majesty." While the hospital would have looked very different back then, it is wonderful to hear about all the hardworking nurses and doctors who showed their appreciation and affection toward Her Late Majesty.

Her Late Majesty also visited the St George area on 6 May 1970 to celebrate the bicentenary of Captain Cook's landing in Australia. During that period, tens of thousands of residents lined the streets of the Sutherland Shire and St George areas just to get a glimpse of the royal visitors. According to a newspaper article from the day, police struggled to control the crowds, which at times forced the royal entourage transporting Her Late Majesty to stop briefly. During that visit, the Queen met high school captains from across New South Wales at James Cook Boys High School and Moorefield Girls High School in Kogarah. Over 560 school captains attended the event, an opportunity which I am sure they did not forget.

Throughout her lifetime, Her Late Majesty also showed our nation much kindness during some of our darkest times. Many have remarked that she closely watched events in Australia and would be quick to write or reach out during troubled times. She stood by us faithfully during recent floods, the Black Summer bushfires and many other difficult times, but she also celebrated alongside us. In 1954 she became the first British sovereign to open a session of an Australian Parliament. She also opened new Parliament House in Canberra in 1988, stating that the building was an example of the strong democratic principles of freedom, equality and justice.

As we continue to mourn, I remember Her Late Majesty's incredible legacy, which will not be forgotten. In the fast-paced world of modern life, she truly was a reassuring presence for many of us. I have also been touched over the past week or so as many local residents have come to my electorate office to sign the condolence book. That is a demonstration of the respect with which she was held throughout New South Wales. I pay my deepest respects to Her Late Majesty and send my condolences to her family. At this time, I invite us all to remember the warmth and kindness Her Late Majesty showed to all Australians. I hope that we can all take something away from the wonderful legacy she left. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Ms TANIA MIHAILUK (Bankstown) (19:29:24):

On behalf of the residents of Bankstown, I offer my condolences and my community's condolences after the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Many of us will never experience a time like this again. It is the end of an era. The end of the longest-serving monarch has had a profound impact. There is a real sense of mourning throughout all of our communities. I acknowledge that many residents in Bankstown have popped into my office to sign the condolence book. Many have made requests for photos of Her Late Majesty, which the Federal offices have been providing. Many in my community, whether they support a republic or a monarchy, felt a sense of connection with Her Late Majesty. A number of people said that they felt she was an extension of their own family. If there was ever a sense of stability about Her Late Majesty, we always felt and knew that she was part of everybody's life.

Although we were shocked by her passing, it should not have been surprising, given her age. It was such a shock to the community to generally realise that finally the longest-serving monarch's time had come to an end. We know she has left an amazing legacy, and people have said that in the past 11 days. We have heard some amazing speeches from across the world from all the world leaders and from our own leader Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. I acknowledge the manner with which he has handled the passing of Her Late Majesty. He has been very respectful. He has indicated that the referendum on a republic will not take place in this term of Federal Parliament out of respect for the royal family. I congratulate the Prime Minister on making that statement, knowing that he is a republican. He has clearly demonstrated his respect for Her Late Majesty, her family and the institution. He has respected the fact that many people across the world, particularly those in our own electorates, feel a sense of loss and are mourning the passing of Her Late Majesty.

My mother tells me that when I was four we went down to see Her Late Majesty. I do not remember her, but she and the late Prince Philip visited Bankstown in 1980. My mother took me and my younger brother. Thousands of people turned up that day. She flew into Bankstown Airport and was taken by car, travelling along the highway to Bankstown. Thousands of children and families were given permission to not be in school that day. Most of the kids were out on the streets waving to Her Late Majesty and to the Prince; they were excited. When one looks back on the photos of what is now known as Paul Keating Park, which was then the Municipality of Bankstown and included the park and council buildings, one can see that thousands and thousands of people came to watch the procession.

It was a very exciting time. My mother told me that we were waiting in the plaza and she got a glimpse of Her Late Majesty. She always told me that she was so impressed with how she looked and that her skin was like porcelain. She had a white porcelain face and she was eager and keen to meet as many people as possible. We have heard many stories over the past few days about Her Late Majesty visiting Australia and different parts of New South Wales. Everyone has a unique story. For us, she proclaimed Bankstown a city. She left by train and caught a train back into the city, which was amazing. She would not have been able to catch a train now because our station is shut, there is a lot of construction, and the trains are not running. What an amazing experience for Bankstown. So many friends of mine who I went to school with have talked about how they remember being out there trying to get a glimpse of Her Late Majesty on that day.

The death of Her Late Majesty has had a profound impact on our community. We will probably never experience something like this again in our lifetimes. The proclamation of the King is a significant occasion that has also had a big impact on our communities. People are in awe of the process. All members extend their condolences to the royal family. I wish my best to His Majesty King Charles III on the legacy that he has to follow. He has very big shoes to fill, taking over from Her Late Majesty. I have no doubt that he has had a lot of training, being the longest heir apparent. I can only imagine that we will see some changes.

There is still a strong sense of support for the monarchy in my community. I remember the republic referendum in 1999, which the "no" side lost in Blaxland. It was certainly a big wake-up call for me as a young person involved in that campaign, listening to many people from different parts of the world telling me that they were not ready for change and that they were happy with the monarch. We will see what happens in the future, but at this point in time it is important to reflect on the amazing legacy of Her Late Majesty and what she did for her family, the community and the world. It is worth valuing, remembering and honouring. Once again I extend the condolences of my community of Bankstown. I hope that Her Late Majesty rests in eternal peace.

Ms ELENI PETINOS (Miranda) (19:36:23):

It is with profound sadness that I speak on the passing of our beloved late sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a woman who exemplified the very best of a life of public service and selfless work. A sense of duty and service characterised Her Late Majesty. In 1947 on her twenty-first birthday then Princess Elizabeth famously declared that her life would be "devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong." It is clear from the immense outpouring of emotion and incredible public sentiment displayed since her passing from people across the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth that she kept this promise. For her devotion, service, leadership and for the gift of her remarkable life to our world, I say thank you.

Born on 21 April 1926 as the daughter of a secondborn son, Prince Albert, Duke of York, the future Queen Elizabeth II never thought she would wear the crown, let alone become the longest-serving monarch in British history and the second longest in world history. That all changed when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry the woman he loved and her father, King George VI, acceded to the throne. Princess Elizabeth was just 13 years old when war broke out on 3 September 1939. Like many children living in London, she and her sister, Princess Margaret, were evacuated to avoid the dangers of the bombing raids.

Children's Hour

Ably supported by her sister, she gave her first address on 13 October 1940 from the drawing room of Windsor Castle in response to this mass movement of people as part of the BBC's . As the war continued, Princess Elizabeth saw it as her duty and responsibility to champion more aspects of wartime life and resilience. On her eighteenth birthday she joined the women's branch of the British Army, the Auxiliary Territorial Service. She started as a second subaltern and was later promoted to junior commander—the equivalent of captain. She began her training as a mechanic in March 1945 and undertook a driving and vehicle maintenance course at Aldershot, qualifying on 14 April and earning her the title of Princess Auto Mechanic.

On 20 November 1947 Her Late Majesty married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in what was a modern‑day love story. Given the rationing of clothing at the time, and showing her immense respect for the people, she purchased the material for her wedding dress using ration coupons. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, would go on to become Her Late Majesty's greatest source of support, her closest confidant and the man she relied on above all others. The couple welcomed their first child, now King Charles III, at Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948. Following her coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, Her Late Majesty embarked upon modernising the monarchy and making it more accessible to the public. One of the best-known ways she did that was through the introduction of the royal walkabout, providing many with the opportunity to get a glimpse of our beloved monarch and her family.

Following her coronation, Her Late Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh embarked on a six-month round‑the-world tour of the Commonwealth, which included the first visit to Australia by a reigning British monarch. During the tour on 11 February 1954 the couple visited the Sutherland shire. Before their visit, Sutherland Shire Council passed a resolution of loyalty that read:

That on the occasion of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, this Council, on behalf of the 60,000 of the people in the Sutherland Shire, on the foreshores which Captain James Cook, the discoverer of Australia, first landed and raised the British flag, desire to express our sincere and loyal welcome to our most gracious Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, and trust that they may be long spared to reign over us.

The royal couple arrived to flags and banners lining the Princes Highway at Sylvania and businesses, including the post office and council chambers, were decorated with flags and bunting to celebrate the occasion. Two resplendent arches were erected at Sylvania and in Lady Rawson Drive. Some 20,000 people assembled on both sides of the Princes Highway as they travelled through Wollongong, despite the overcast weather, joined by thousands of school students, making it one of the largest crowds ever seen in Sutherland. Upon their return from Wollongong, the royal couple stood on the rear observation platform as their train passed through the Sutherland shire, with thousands more lining platforms from Helensburgh to Como to catch a glimpse. Her Late Majesty would go on to visit the Commonwealth of Australia a further 15 times during her reign, exemplifying the special place Australia held in her heart.

Throughout her reign Her Late Majesty offered a sense of constancy in the midst of social and political waves of change. She reigned through postwar Britain, the formation of the Commonwealth, domestic and international conflicts, the dramatic impact of technology and, of course, COVID-19. Her Late Majesty maintained her presence throughout her role as head of the Commonwealth, an organisation of great importance to her. At the time of her accession, the Commonwealth was a body of just eight States, including Canada, Australia, India and Pakistan, which had previously been empire territories. The Commonwealth now has a membership of 54 countries, representing a third of the world's population.


Her deeply felt sense of duty was also demonstrated by her unstinting passion for charity. During her 70 years on the throne she acted as patron of more than 500 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations in the United Kingdom. Her Late Majesty was a truly remarkable woman and an inspiration. She was someone who generations looked to for stability and constancy. For the members in this place she was there for all of our lives. The high esteem that she was held in by our communities has been on display since her passing and has been reflected on in this place. On behalf of the people of the Miranda electorate, I offer my sincere condolences to the royal family on their loss and thank them for sharing her with us throughout her reign. As per King Charles III's quoting of in his recent address, may "flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"

I acknowledge the accession to the throne of our new monarch, King Charles III. On behalf of the people of Miranda I wish our new King well as he takes on this role. Despite his grief, His Majesty has assumed the immense duty of the Crown and led us all in dignified mourning. Much like his mother, King Charles III has given his life to public service. Amongst his many other causes, His Majesty is a champion for the natural environment, his views on which have been ahead of his time. He is also well positioned to continue his late mother's charitable works, himself being the founder and patron of a number of charities. King Charles III is, of course, familiar with Australia, having first visited to attend school when he was 16 years old. Since then he has made 16 official visits to our shores and visited the New South Wales Parliament on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Legislative Council. I feel fortunate that we have a monarch in King Charles III who has great affection for our country. In an interview in 1994 His Majesty said, "All I've ever tried to do, as far as Australia is concerned, is to try to help and encourage and assist in any way I can." I have no doubt that this will continue. God save the King.

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