Never in modern history has there been a more dignified monarch, a more dutiful leader, or a more decent human than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
An extraordinary life which touched so many has sadly come to an end.
The last page has been inked on an exceptional reign.
She was our Sovereign.
As she was for other nations of the Commonwealth spread across the world’s continents and oceans.
A Monarch who ruled with an empathetic heart and wisdom both innate and gained from almost a century of life and experience.
Her Majesty was gentle, kind, and much-loved.
Following her Coronation on the 2nd of June 1953, our Queen said:
“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”
Not only did our Queen earn our trust, she also won our admiration.
In serving the people, the people marvelled at her unflagging service.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II lived through the pivotal events of the 20th and 21st centuries – wars and conflicts, depression and recession, the end of empire and decolonisation, the race to the moon and the attainment of civil rights, the brilliance of Olympic Games and the barbarity of terrorism.
She led Britain through the darkest of days and through the times of triumph.
Though the world changed around her, she remained steadfast in her devotion to God, her country, and to the Commonwealth.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia on sixteen separate occasions between 1954 and 2011, with her reign spanning sixteen separate Australian Prime Ministers.
She visited every state and territory, helped to open our new Parliament House and the Sydney Opera House, and attended the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and Melbourne. Wherever she went, crowds choked the streets, cheering, clapping, and waving flags to express their adoration.
Despite her royalty, she possessed extraordinary humility, greeting all those she met with courtesy, treating them as equals and offering an attentive ear.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II again exemplified the optimism, poise and stoicism which she carried throughout life and which inspired so many. She told the people of the United Kingdom, via broadcast, “We will succeed… better days will return… We will meet again.” Seventy-six years earlier as an eighteen-year-old Princess, she had insisted on joining the Army, donning a uniform and training as a truck driver and mechanic to support the war effort.
Today, a comforting warmth has left the world. One of humanity’s brightest lights has gone out.
May our memories of our dear Queen inspire the very best in us, just as she drew inspiration from her subjects.
As the Leader of the Opposition, and on behalf of the Federal Coalition, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is finally at peace with her beloved husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.
Thank you, Your Majesty, for everything.
9 September 2022