Australia proclaims King Charles III as head of state
The proclamation was made by Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley at the nation’s parliament in Canberra. A series of proclamation ceremonies will also take place across state parliaments in the country on Sunday.
A national day of remembrance will be held on September 22, after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has returned from Britain, where he will attend the Queen’s funeral. A memorial service will also be held on that day, which has been declared a one-off public holiday.
As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia 16 times.
“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,” Albanese said in a statement Friday.
“Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours.”
In 1999 Australia held a referendum on whether to remove the Queen as head of state, but it was defeated.
On Friday, Sydney’s iconic Opera House was lit up with a tribute to the Queen.
Neighboring commonwealth country New Zealand on Sunday also officially proclaimed King Charles III as its head of state in a televised ceremony.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Queen Elizabeth served people of New Zealand for 70 years with unwavering duty.
“For the vast majority of New Zealanders, she is the only monarch we have known, and so upon her death we enter a time of change,” Ardern said.
“King Charles has long had an affection for Aotearoa New Zealand and has consistently demonstrated his deep care for our nation.” she added. “And so as one chapter closes, another begins.”
The Canadian parliament will sit on Thursday to allow members to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter on Saturday.
Trudeau added the Canadian Parliament will also delay its opening session by a day. “To accommodate Her Majesty’s funeral, the opening of the session will be delayed — by one day — to September 20,” Trudeau said.