Australia Holds Day of Mourning for Queen With Artwork, Flowers

By ROD McGUIRK, Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia honored the late Queen Elizabeth II with a nationwide day of mourning Thursday, together with dignitaries inserting sprigs of golden wattle in a wreath at Parliament House, which she had opened on considered one of her visits three many years in the past.

The focus on the ceremony at Parliament’s Great Hall was a portrait of the previous monarch of Britain and Australia in a yellow costume adorned with golden wattle motifs that she wore on her first night time in Australia in 1954, referred to as the “Wattle Painting,” created by Australian artist William Dargie.

The queen’s demise on Sept. 8 got here through the Southern Hemisphere spring when wattle blooms, its golden flowers and inexperienced leaves reflecting Australia’s nationwide colours in what has grow to be a logo of unity.

The authorities declared Thursday a public vacation and the ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Governor-General David Hurley, King Charles III’s consultant in Australia. Both had returned Wednesday from the queen’s funeral in London.

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The vacation was marked by some protests that targeted on the hurt British colonization brought on Indigenous Australians. Australia is without doubt one of the few former British colonies that by no means struck a treaty with the Indigenous inhabitants.

“I acknowledge that her passing has prompted totally different reactions for some in our group,” Hurley stated. “I’m acutely aware to respect that the response of many First Nations Australians is formed by our colonial historical past and broader reconciliation journey, that could be a journey we as a nation should full.”

The authorities plans to alter the Australian structure with a referendum that will create a mechanism for Indigenous individuals to seek the advice of Parliament about insurance policies that impact their lives.

Lidia Thorpe, an Indigenous senator for the minor Greens social gathering, led a whole bunch of protesters towards the British monarchy within the metropolis of Melbourne.

“The crown’s boot is on our neck and we’re sick of it,” Thorpe advised the rally.

Indigenous responses to the queen’s demise have been combined. Indigenous dancers and singers began the Parliament House ceremony.

Albanese, who needs Australia to exchange the British monarch with an Australian head of state, spoke about how the nation had modified since 70% of the inhabitants turned out to see the queen in 1954.

“Perhaps the best tribute we will provide her household and her reminiscence shouldn’t be a marble statue or a metallic plaque,” Albanese stated. “It is a renewed embrace of service to group.”

Political leaders previous and current, judges, army chiefs and different dignitaries have been amongst 700 friends on the service.

The queen formally opened Parliament House in 1988. Her father opened a brief Parliament House close by in 1927. King George VI was then Duke of York, making his daughter the primary reigning monarch to go to Australia.

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