Australia welcomes Queen’s 16th royal visit

The Queen landed in Canberra around 6pm. She looked incredibly energetic and graceful despite travelling for so long. She was escorted by her 90-year-old husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The royal couple was officially welcomed by Governor-General Quentin Bryce, and her partner, Michael, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her partner, Tim Mathieson, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, Speaker of the House of Representatives Harry Jenkins, High Court Chief Justice Robert French and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

By presenting a beautiful bouquet of flowers to the royal guests, Australian woman Margaret Cunningham marked the history. Enthusiastic Republicans such as former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull greeted the Queen wholeheartedly.

Turnbull said: “The republican movement has always been about ensuring Australia’s head of state is Australian, so all of our national symbols are unequivocally Australian. At the same time, nobody could fail to have enormous respect and affection for Queen Elizabeth.”

The Queen has planned a 10-day tour but will not visit Adelaide or Sydney, rather make day-trips to Brisbane and Melbourne. Primarily, the Queen will stay in Canberra, where she is hosting a reception at Parliament House tomorrow. In the coming week, she will open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth.

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