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Death of Queen Elizabeth II: Australian politicians pay tribute to the Queen at her statue in Parliament House

The Australian Prime Minister and other political leaders have laid wreaths in Parliament House in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Governor General David Hurley and opposition leader Peter Dutton celebrated the monarch’s death with a ceremony on Queen’s Terrace on Saturday morning.

The wreath-laying comes more than 30 years after the monarch opened the new parliament building in 1988, including the unveiling of a statue of himself.

The Queen’s eldest son became King Charles III immediately after her death in the early morning hours at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanian and other political leaders laid wreaths in the parliament building in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth II

Prime Minister Anthony Albanian and other political leaders laid wreaths in the parliament building in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth II

(LR) Australian Senators Bridget McKenzie, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Michaelia Cash prepare to lay a wreath at the statue of Queen Elizabeth II in the parliament building in Canberra

(LR) Australian Senators Bridget McKenzie, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Michaelia Cash prepare to lay a wreath at the statue of Queen Elizabeth II in the parliament building in Canberra

(LR) Australian Senators Bridget McKenzie, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Michaelia Cash prepare to lay a wreath at the statue of Queen Elizabeth II in the parliament building in Canberra

In an overnight speech, the new king pledged to serve the crown’s realms and territories around the world with “loyalty, respect and love.”

“As the Queen herself did with such unwavering devotion, I now solemnly pledge myself,” said King Charles.

Shortly after the wreath laying, Mr. Albanese pointed to the king’s comments about the “affection, admiration and respect” the Queen inspired, which became a hallmark of her reign.

“That’s why so many Australians have paid moving tributes and mourn this tremendous loss,” he said.

Peter Dutton (pictured) said the King had shown that he carried on with the same selfless spirit as his late mother.  'That continuity is an essential part and King Charles had shown his devotion to his country and to the wealthy'

Peter Dutton (pictured) said the King had shown that he carried on with the same selfless spirit as his late mother.  'That continuity is an essential part and King Charles had shown his devotion to his country and to the wealthy'

Peter Dutton (pictured) said the King had shown that he carried on with the same selfless spirit as his late mother. ‘That continuity is an essential part and King Charles had shown his devotion to his country and to the wealthy’

Mr Dutton said the King had shown that he carried on with the same selfless spirit as his late mother.

“That continuity is an essential part and King Charles had shown his devotion to his country and to the rich,” he said.

Across the country, Australians continue to mark the Queen’s passing, with hundreds of people laying flowers at Government House in Sydney and Melbourne.

A ceremony of the king’s proclamation will be held outside the parliament building in Canberra on Sunday, followed by a 21-gun salute.

On Friday night, a 96-gun salute took place in the forecourt of the Federal Parliament — one round for each year of the Queen’s life, who reigned for 70 years.

Governor General David Hurley leads political leaders as floral tributes were laid at Parliament House in Canberra to commemorate the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Governor General David Hurley leads political leaders as floral tributes were laid at Parliament House in Canberra to commemorate the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Governor General David Hurley leads political leaders as floral tributes were laid at Parliament House in Canberra to commemorate the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The sails of the Sydney Opera House, which Her Majesty opened in 1973, were lit in her honour. So were monuments in other cities, and flags were flown at half-mast across the country.

Since the news of the monarch’s death, Australians have gathered to lay flowers, sign condolences and raise a glass to the Queen.

Some noted that with the death of the monarch, who reigned for so long that many Australians have known no other head of state, they had lost a sign of their own life.

“Now that she’s gone, we feel a little older and feel that loss,” said John Myers of Hawthorn in eastern Melbourne.

Melburnian Pettifleur Berenger also said it was hard to imagine life without her.

“She had so much humor and dignity and love for her country and the Commonwealth,” Ms Berenger told AAP.

“She was the grandmother of the Commonwealth,” said Sydneysider Oliver Pasusuwin.

Mr Hurley and Mr Albanese will fly to London on Thursday to attend the Queen’s funeral, the date of which has yet to be confirmed.

No official mourning period has been declared in Australia, unlike the UK, which has begun 10 days of mourning.

The Parliaments of Queensland and the Federal Government have suspended their session days next week, while MPs from NSW, Victorian and Western Australian MPs will meet on Tuesday to hear condolence motions.

Also this weekend, the AFL and NRL will observe one minute of silence for all matches on Saturday and Sunday, and one minute of silence is also expected for cricket and football matches on Sunday.

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