King Charles proclaimed monarch of Australia and New Zealand | Political news

The British monarch is the head of state in Australia and New Zealand, a role that is largely ceremonial.

King Charles III was officially proclaimed Head of State of Australia and New Zealand during ceremonies in the nations’ capitals.

In New Zealand, on Sunday, the proclamation of Charles as monarch, succeeding Queen Elizabeth II who died at the age of 96, took place in parliament in Wellington.

Speaking from the steps of Parliament, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the event recognized the Queen’s son, “His Majesty King Charles III, as our Sovereign”.

Ardern told a crowd that following the Queen’s death, New Zealand had entered an era of change.

“King Charles…has always demonstrated his deep concern for our nation,” she said. “This relationship is deeply appreciated by our people. I have no doubt it will deepen.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, right, and Governor General David Hurley, left, attend an accession proclamation ceremony for Britain’s King Charles III at Parliament in Canberra [Mick Tsikas/ AFP]
Members of the Australian Defense Force salute 21 guns during an accession proclamation ceremony for Britain's King Charles III to Parliament in Canberra on September 11, 2022.
Members of the Australian Defense Force salute 21 guns during a ceremony to proclaim the accession of Britain’s King Charles III to Parliament in Canberra [Gary Ramage/ AFP]

In Australia, Governor General David Hurley, representative of the British monarch in Australia, proclaimed King Charles head of state in the Parliament of Canberra.

The proclamation was marked by a 21-gun salute.

The British monarch is the head of state in Australia as well as New Zealand, among 14 kingdoms outside the UK, a role that is largely ceremonial.

Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said a national day of mourning for the Queen would take place on the public holiday September 22.

Albanese said he would travel to London on Thursday, attend the Queen’s funeral on September 19 and then return to Australia on September 21.

“Then the national day of mourning and the memorial service should be the next day,” he told ABC television.

‘This is to allow people to pay their respects to the passing of Queen Elizabeth,’ the Prime Minister said.

Albanese said Australia had offered to fly 10 of its Pacific Islander counterparts and New Zealand dignitaries to the UK for the Queen’s funeral.

Asked how Australians would view the new monarch, Albanese said King Charles would have to “characterize his own path”.

As a mark of respect, Australian national flags are flown at half mast, parliament has been suspended and a large portrait of the Queen has been projected over the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

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