It is with great sorrow that we join with others in expressing sadness at news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II.
We send our sincere condolences to Her Majesty’s family at this time.
Her Majesty has travelled much of Australia’s journey with us. She was monarch and Australia’s head of State for 70 of the nation’s 121 years of federation.
Queen Elizabeth II has been inextricably linked with Australia’s Parliament.
Her grandfather, George V, opened Australia’s first Parliament in the Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne when he was Duke of York.
Then her father, George VI, along with her mother opened the provisional Parliament House in Canberra as Duke and Duchess of York on 9 May 1927.
To the day, 61 years later – on 9 May 1988, Her Majesty opened the new Parliament House.
Her Royal Highness formally opened sittings of Parliament three times; in 1954 the year following her coronation, in 1974 and 1977.
Her Royal Highness visited Parliament House, both provisional and new, eight times. Most recently, in 2011 for a reception in the Great Hall as part of a tour which ended with attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth.
In Her Majesty's speeches during those visits, she often expressed faith and optimism in Australia, its people and its democracy. She spoke of the special bond she felt with Australians who she said, in 2006, had creative energy leavened by generous warmth and humour with a proud record of defending freedom and democracy.
Her Majesty’s commitment to the Commonwealth, and its commitment to democracy, was a constant throughout her reign. That commitment to parliamentary democracy is a foundation stone of the Commonwealth Parliament Association which brings together more than 180 legislatures, including Australia.
There will be a range of commemorative activities at Australian Parliament House in coming days. These include:
- A 96 gun salute to mark the death of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II on the forecourt of Australian Parliament House
- Flags at Australian Parliament House will today be flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset as a mark of respect and mourning
- A National Memorial Service will be held at Australian Parliament House and broadcast to the nation
Members of the public who wish to lay floral tributes or provide a message of condolence may do so at Australian Parliament House. Details of how to do so are on the website.
Full details for all commemorations at Australian Parliament House can be found at aph.gov.au.