Australia declares King Charles III as head of state

The Governor General of Australia, David Hurley, made the announcement in the country’s parliament in Canberra. A series of declaration ceremonies will be held in state parliaments across the country on Sunday.

A national day of remembrance will be held on September 22 after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese returns from Britain, where he will attend the Queen’s funeral. A commemorative event will also be held on that day as it has been declared a public holiday.

As Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia 16 times.

“From his famous first trip to Australia, the only sovereign ever to visit, it was clear that Australia held a special place in his heart,” Albanese said in a statement on Friday.

“Fifteen more tours before raving crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place he holds among us.”

In 1999 Australia held a referendum on whether to remove the Queen as head of state, but it was defeated.

On Friday, Sydney’s iconic Opera House paid tribute to the Queen.

Neighboring New Zealand also officially announced King Charles III as its head of state in a televised ceremony on Sunday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Queen Elizabeth served the people of New Zealand with unwavering commitment for 70 years.

“For most New Zealanders, he’s the only monarch we’ve ever known, so with his death we’re entering a period of transition,” Ardern said.

“King Charles has long held a fondness for New Zealand and continues to demonstrate his deep concern for our nation.” she added. “When one chapter ends, another begins.”

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Canada’s Parliament will meet Thursday to allow members to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter Saturday.

Canadian Parliament will also delay its opening session by a day, Trudeau said. “To accommodate Her Majesty’s funeral, the opening of the session has been delayed by one day – to September 20,” Trudeau said.

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