CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian lawmakers paid tribute Friday to Queen Elizabeth II, with some additionally weighing in on the republic debate, after they returned to parliament from a break taken to watch the queen’s demise.
An obscure and longstanding protocol in Australia bars parliament from sitting for 15 days following a British monarch’s demise. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese determined to comply with the protocol.
Albanese has beforehand stated he desires an Australian president to exchange the British monarch because the nation’s head of state, though he has prevented getting entangled within the republic debate because the queen’s demise.
Every chamber of Australia’s parliament — the Senate and the Home — spent Friday passing condolence motions for the late monarch in addition to congratulating King Charles III on his accession to the throne.
Albanese stated it was onerous to know that the queen was now only a reminiscence after her seven-decade reign.
“She was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change,” Albanese stated.
Elizabeth visited Australia 16 instances throughout her reign.
“She got to know us, appreciate us, embrace us, and the feeling was very much mutual,” Albanese stated.
The prime minister provided his condolences to King Charles III.
“We think of King Charles, who feels the weight of this sorrow, as he takes on the weight of the crown,” Albanese stated. “At the dawn of his reign, we wish His Majesty well.”
Opposition chief Peter Dutton stated Australians had drawn on the knowledge of the queen’s phrases and the consolation of her voice.
“She admired that Australian trait to honor those who go about their essential business without fuss or media attention,” Dutton stated. “But of course, wherever the queen went, crowds choked the streets cheering, and clapping, and waving their flags to express their adoration.”
Adam Bandt, chief of the small Australian Greens celebration, expressed his condolences however reiterated his assist for Australia to develop into a republic.
“The queen’s passing means that we get a new head of state without having any say in the matter. It is absolutely the appropriate time to talk respectfully about whether that is right for us as a country,” he stated.
“We can offer our condolences to those grieving her personally, while also talking respectfully about what it means for us as a people,” Bandt added.
Lawmakers additionally spoke in regards to the hyperlink between the monarchy and colonization.
“For many Indigenous Australians, the legacy of the monarchy is fraught — a complex, difficult, and painful reminder of the impact of colonization,” stated Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney. “This week has seen many wrestling with swirling emotions.”
She stated many Indigenous folks revered Elizabeth.
“The queen’s relationship with Indigenous Australians reflects both how far we have come and how far we still have to go,” Burney stated.
British Excessive Commissioner Vicki Treadell was at parliament to listen to the tributes.