‘We stand as equals’: Albo pays tribute to the Queen on her platinum birthday

Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth on her platinum jubilee, saying that Australians have great “respect and affection” for the monarch.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, calling her a “rare permanent” that Australians “respect” as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations continue.

In a speech commemorating the Queen’s 70-year reign, the Prime Minister said the monarch has demonstrated stability over the many decades she has been on the throne.

“The Queen was a rare constant, a steady, inspiring, growing presence of calmness, decency and strength,” he said at a ceremony in Canberra on Thursday evening.

“Australians treat Queen Elizabeth with respect and affection, even though the bond between our peoples is no longer what it was at the dawn of her reign.

“No longer a parent, but a young upstart. We stand as equals, more importantly, we stand as friends.”

Mr. Albanese then lit a beacon as part of the jubilee, one of 1,500 to be lit across the Commonwealth to commemorate the occasion.

As sunset approached on Thursday, the Queen was to light a commemorative beacon at Windsor Castle, west of London. Others will be lit throughout the Commonwealth, from Tonga and Samoa in the Pacific to the Caribbean and Canada.

This comes after Mr. Albanese formed his cabinet on Tuesday, including the “Assistant Minister for the Republic”, despite the fact that the country is a constitutional monarchy.

Mr Albanese announced that Sydney MP Matt Thistlethwaite would be Assistant Secretary for the Republic in addition to other duties.

Previous Labor leaders have pledged to hold a referendum to remove the Queen as Australia’s head of state, but Albanese, a longtime Republican, has not made that promise part of his campaign.

This move was welcomed by the Australian Republican Movement, which advocates the post of the head of the Australian state.

“WE’RE ON THE ROAD!” tweeted prominent Republican and author Peter FitzSimons. “Let the records show that for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, Australia has a government member dedicated exclusively to overthrowing the crown and helping Australia establish a republic,” he added.

Mr Albanese had previously called Australia a republic “inevitable”. In 1999, Australians narrowly voted against becoming a republic after controversy over a proposal that members of parliament rather than the public would choose a replacement for the queen. Nearly 55 percent of voters opposed the move.

Mr. Albanese promised to hold a referendum on giving Aboriginal Australia an institutional role in shaping policy, but not on becoming a republic.

Earlier, Mr Albanese announced that he would be renaming Aspen Island Canberra in recognition of Her Majesty’s accomplishments.

“I look forward to the official renaming of Aspen Island to Queen Elizabeth II later this week as a sign of Australia’s appreciation and respect for Her Majesty,” he said.

The four days of Platinum Jubilee celebrations have been running since Thursday as Britons grapple with a spike in inflation not seen since the 1970s, with many households struggling to set the table with food and pay skyrocketing bills.

This significant anniversary is also accompanied by doubts about the very future of the monarchy after the increasingly weakening 96-year-old sovereign leaves the scene.

But in her anniversary message, the Queen thanked everyone involved in organizing events from the local to the national level in the UK and the 54-country Commonwealth.

“I know these holidays will bring back many happy memories for me,” she said.

“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and I hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved over the past 70 years as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”

– With AFP

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