PM Gillard said: “You are the heart of the Commonwealth, our bond of unity, our symbol of continuity. You have stewarded this unlikely organisation throughout six decades of immense and often painful change, decades where at times the survival of the Commonwealth must have seemed like a miracle.”
Prime Minister raise the toast in presence of the leaders of over 50 Commonwealth nations at the Queen’s official CHOGM banquet in Perth on Friday.
Gillard sat to the Queen’s right at the head table at Perth’s Pan Pacific hotel while her collaborator Tim Mathieson was seated at a close by table with Prince Philip and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Earlier, Mr Cameron announced a trust fund to support public celebrations for the Queen’s diamond jubilee next year, to which Ms Gillard said Australia would kick in.
In response to a new proposal by the Commonwealth member countries, Mr Cameron said: “The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is a man, or that a future monarch can marry someone of any faith except a Catholic – this way of thinking is at odds with the modern countries that we have become.”
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