Australia’s solemn moment for Queen

The nation has been granted a one-off public holiday on Thursday to officially mourn Britain’s longest-serving monarch, just a day after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Governor-General David Hurley returned from the Queen’s funeral in London.Mr Albanese said the day would “allow people to pay their respects for the passing of Queen Elizabeth”.More than 600 Australians have gathered in the Great Hall at Parliament House for the official memorial service for Her Majesty.The service began with a smoking ceremony from Indigenous leaders as Mr Albanese and other politicians were led into the hall.It was followed by a hymn from the Australian Girls Choir ahead of the minute of silence.Leaders from every state and territory are among those in attendance, including federal politicians, state governors, premiers and ambassadors.Representatives from schools, scouts and first responders have also fronted Parliament House for the service.The Australian Girls Choir is singing songs throughout the ceremony.The service began at 10.45am before a minute of silence for the Queen at 11am, which the Prime Minister encouraged all Australians to participate in.The minute of silence is set to be followed by the Australian Anthem performed by Anthony Callea.Mr Albanese is expected to make a speech about the Queen, as well as Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and the Governor-General.

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