With the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Second, an historic reign and a long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service has come to an end.
The Government and the people of Australia offer our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are grieving for a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother—the person whom for so long was their greatest inner strength.
Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole.
There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
This is a loss we all feel, for few have known a world without Queen Elizabeth II. In her seven remarkable decades on the throne, Her Majesty was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change. Through the noise and tumult of the years, she embodied and exhibited a timeless decency and an enduring calm.
From the moment the young princess became Queen, shouldering the mighty weight of the institution into which she was born, Her Majesty made dedication to duty and service above self the hallmark of her reign.
She celebrated our good times, she stood with us in the bad. Happy and glorious but steadfast too. In particular, we recall the sympathy and personal kindness she extended to Australians afflicted by tragedy and disaster.
Throughout it all, she was a monarch who let her humanity show, performing her duty with fidelity, integrity and humour. In this, she was supported so long and so lovingly by the late Prince Philip, her “strength and stay” for 73 years.
From her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia.
Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours.
As monarch for more than half the life of our Federation, the relationship between Australia and Britain matured and evolved throughout Her Majesty’s reign.
The Queen greeted each and every change with understanding, good grace and an abiding faith in the Australian people’s good judgment.
This was the deft and diplomatic way she bound the diversity of the modern Commonwealth, nations around the world who will mourn her passing.
Today marks the end of an era, the close of the second Elizabethan age. This time of mourning will pass but the deep respect and warm regard in which Australians always held Her Majesty will never fade.
May she rest in eternal peace.