State Dinner to celebrate The Coronation and Birthday of King Charles III
Representing the Premier, Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing, the Honourable Grace Grace MP; the 25th Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and the 24th Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO; the 25th Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Penelope Wensley AC; the 23rd Governor of Queensland, Major General the Honourable Peter Arnison AC, AO(Mil), CVO Retd; the 22nd Governor of Queensland, the Honourable Leneen Forde AC; Senior Officers of the Australian Defence Force; Consul-General of the United Kingdom, Mr Richard Cowin MBE; the Dean of Brisbane, The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt; Community Leaders; your partners and guests; a very warm welcome to you all.
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.
Graeme and I are so pleased you could join us this evening to celebrate the Coronation and official birthday of our new monarch, King Charles III.
I am particularly delighted to have four former Governors of Queensland sitting at this table, and I know the Honourable Paul de Jersey was disappointed he could not attend, as he is currently travelling overseas with Kaye.
For all of us—especially those who have served in the Vice-Regal position—the death, in September 2022, of the late Queen Elizabeth II signaled the end of an incredible era.
She had reigned as our monarch for over 70 years, and despite the immense changes taking place in the world around her, exemplified grace, dignity and steadfast devotion to her people.
While the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla has begun a new chapter, the royal couple bring with them this same compassionate sense of duty to serve.
The King had been—after all—heir apparent from the age of 3, had attended his mother’s Coronation at the age of 4, and then pursued his own studies and his career in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy with diligence and industry.
As the Prince of Wales, he not only learned to speak fluent Welsh prior to being invested2, but also always performed his roles and responsibilities with reliable energy and commitment, supporting and echoing his mother’s efforts to encourage unity and stability, and to acknowledge the achievements of others.
Both he and Queen Camilla are passionate and vocal champions for causes that have a direct impact on our modern, complex world, including the environment, healthcare and education, and while their Patronage obligations will now change, they remain deeply interested in contemporary issues.
I was therefore thrilled and proud to represent all Queenslanders at the recent Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey, and to witness an historic event that was as momentous as it was magnificent.
Our new monarch is determined to make a difference, yet uphold the deeply established and cherished traditions the role entails.
I know King Charles III will continue to encourage and support Queensland and its people.
We extend His Majesty our best wishes for his birthday, and congratulate the royal couple for sharing, with the world, their moving and inspirational Coronation ceremony.
Graeme and I are honoured you could join us to honour this historic occasion and hope you enjoy your evening.