Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has paid tribute to the relationship the Queen had with the country and its people, saying she had a “great affection for Australians”.
Speaking to Sky News Australia, Mr Albanese said of the Queen: “A remarkable life, well-lived. A life lived in the service of others, served in the interests of the people of the UK, but also the Commonwealth and the world.
“The Queen was Australia’s first monarch to visit. She visited Australia some 16 times. She had a great affection for Australians.
“She was someone who had that affection and Australians had an affection back to Her Majesty.”
He continued: “It is quite remarkable that someone served the life that she did over seven long decades.
“A life of dignity. A life of grace. And one that Australians have recognised since Her Majesty’s passing just over a week ago.”
Mr Albanese will attend the Queen’s funeral on Monday after flying into the UK earlier in the week.
He met with Prime Minister Liz Truss on Saturday alongside New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and said he extended his “personal condolences and those of the Australian people” to King Charles during a meeting at Buckingham Palace.
Mr Albanese also visited the Queen’s coffin lying in state in Westminster Hall, calling it a moment he will “never forget”.
He wrote on Twitter: “Walking through Westminster Hall for the Lying in state was an incredibly moving experience.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II meant so much to so many. The raw emotion of those attending to pay their respects made this moment one I will never forget.”