Reception to Celebrate Coronation and Birthday of King Charles III
Mr Speaker, the Honourable Curtis Pitt MP; 25th Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and 24th Governor of Queensland; the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO; the 25th Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Penelope Wensley AC and 22nd Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Leneen Forde AC; Former Administrator of Norfolk Island, the Honourable Gary Hardgrave; representing the Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Shadow Minister for Olympics and Paralympics, Mr Jarrod Bleijie MP; President of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland, the Honourable Justice Debra Mullins AO; Members of Parliament; Directors-General; Commissioners; Members of the Consular Corps; Defence Force representatives; community leaders; distinguished guests, welcome.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
Graeme and I are delighted to be joined this evening by three of my predecessors as Governor of Queensland, by members of the consular corps and the defence force, by parliamentarians and public servants, leaders of our churches and educational institutions, and representatives of so many organisations with Vice-Regal patronage or with royal connections. Thank you all – and welcome to this special celebration of the coronation of King Charles III and his first official birthday as our King.
On the other side of the world, this occasion will be commemorated in four days’ time1 with the magnificent tradition that has marked the official birthday of the British sovereign for more than 260 years – the Trooping of the Colour.
Of course, His Majesty King Charles III is no stranger to this annual spectacle – he has watched the Royal Air Force flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on many occasions during the long reign of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, but this will be the first time he himself has travelled down the Mall with an escort of Household Cavalry to receive the Royal Salute and inspect his troops.
It will be a memorable occasion, made all the more memorable by our recent experience of the pageantry and symbolism of the first coronation of a British monarch in almost 70 years.
It was my privilege to represent the people of Queensland and join other representatives of the King’s realms in Westminster Abbey in May, and since our return, I have been overseeing the many small but important changes needed here in Government House, from installing portraits of King Charles and Queen Camilla, to changing the St Edward’s crown3 icon in our displays and on our stationery to the Tudor crown chosen by King Charles for his cypher.
The replacement process has been a source of great curiosity for tour groups who visit Government House as part of our public outreach program.
We have sadly had to disappoint them that there will not be a bonanza for collectors when we replace the beautiful Ainsley-ware bone china dinner service bearing Queen Elizabeth’s cypher. Though we will of course retain a place setting here as part of our collection.
Thank you again for being with Graeme and me this evening for this celebration, I now invite you to please join me in a Loyal Toast.