Remarks at the Wreath Laying Ceremony for Her Majesty The Queen

Media statement
10 Sep 2022
Prime Minister
Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

I want to thank all those, particularly those from the diplomatic corps, who came to participate in the commemoration, the laying of the wreaths here this morning. It says something about the way The Queen was admired around the world, not just as our Head of State and Head of the Commonwealth but for her enormous contribution over 70 years as the longest ever Sovereign of the United Kingdom and of the Commonwealth.

I think there have been many moving tributes to the contribution of Queen Elizabeth, but none more so than from King Charles III. King Charles of course was paying tribute not just to a Sovereign but to his beloved mother. And it was extraordinarily fitting words. It struck me in particular his words where he said the affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign. And that’s why so many Australians have made moving tributes and are mourning this enormous loss. And I again reiterate on behalf of the people of Australia our sympathy for the Royal Family for their personal loss as well as to the people of the United Kingdom, and the people of the Commonwealth in particular, but also the whole world for what is an enormous loss.

Queen Elizabeth reigned for 70 years in an era of enormous change. She was a constant reassuring presence with her compassion, her decency, her commitment to service which is an absolute inspiration and which King Charles has referred to in his remarks paying tribute to his late mother. I do want to say as well that King Charles, I join with him when he said he thanked her for love of her family but also the family of nations. And I think that is certainly true.

I had the opportunity last night as well to speak with the new Prime Minster of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss. I’d met Liz Truss in Madrid at the NATO Summit and we talked about the depth of mourning that is occurring in the United Kingdom. But I also conveyed the feeling, the depth of sadness of the Australian people at the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. We will meet when I am in the United Kingdom and we agreed to do so.

Thank you very much.