Sense of History for Queen’s Funeral: PM

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Anthony Albanese says he feels a real sense of history before bringing an entourage of Australians to London for the Queen’s funeral.

The Prime Minister will leave Sydney later on Thursday with Governor General David Hurley and their partners to attend the state funeral on Monday.

He plans to attend multiple events ahead of the occasion, which he believes would be memorable.

“I feel a real sense of history here and a sense of privilege to represent Australia alongside the Governor General and the acting High Commissioner,” Mr Albanese told TBEN Radio.

“That sense of history and the longevity of the service and the dedication to service that Queen Elizabeth had over those seven decades is one of the reasons why there is an outpouring of emotions.”

The Prime Minister will see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall and signing a register of condolences in Lancaster House.

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He will also have a one-on-one meeting with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, along with a reception with other Commonwealth leaders.

The Prime Minister will meet new British Prime Minister Liz Truss in Kent, and a similar meeting is also planned with Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau.

Mr. Albanian said King Charles III’s accession to the throne has brought about many changes, as has the way the country is governed.

“One of the things that is happening is that Australians are now more aware of our system of government. There are people who have expressed my surprise at how King Charles automatically ascended to the throne,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity, I think, for us to think about the system we have over a period of time.”

The prime minister has previously ruled out holding a referendum on Australia becoming a republic during his first term in office, as the constitutional priority has been to allow an Indigenous voice to be heard in parliament.

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Mr. Albanian will bring 10 “everyday Australians” at the request of the palace.

A reception will be held at Australia House in London in the run-up to the funeral for all Australians attending the Queen’s service.

The prime minister’s plane will also carry officials and heads of state from neighboring Commonwealth countries, including Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Samoa.

At least one other Pacific nation is expected to receive support.

Also on the run will be prominent racing identities Gai and Robbie Waterhouse, who were invited to the funeral by Buckingham Palace.

Mr Albanian said there was an invitation for the couple to sit on his plane due to a lack of commercial flights.

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“They had trouble crossing. As you can understand, it’s a bit full at the moment,” he said,

“Australians would very much accept that Gai and Robbie Waterhouse (are in attendance), with the relationship they had, naturally trained the Queen’s horses and had audiences with the Queen at Royal Ascot.”

Meanwhile, more than 21,000 Australians have signed an online condolence register on the website of the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet.

Physical books are also available to sign at Parliament House and Government House in Canberra, as well as at official residences in other states and territories.

Mr Albanese will return to Australia on Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s National Day of Remembrance, with a memorial service in Canberra attended by all state and area leaders.

– MONKEY

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