Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described meeting the Queen as the most anxious moment of his life.
The Former leader recalls him and his wife Jenny hustling for the event at Buckingham Palace in 2019.
“Jenny was YouTube how to curl up in the car,” he says.
Mr Morrison is also worried about getting the right gift.
He called his mentor and former prime minister John Howard for advice, who told him: “You can’t go wrong with anything horse-related. Learn from your horse. .”
In the end, he decided to get her a book on the Winx, an Australian champion racehorse.
The Queen, he said, “immediately took it out of her pocket, she glided through it like a schoolgirl, she lit up like you wouldn’t believe”.
It was a moment of relief and lightness for everyone. Queen Elizabeth II “just made us stay home for a while”.
In 1954, she became the first reigning monarch to set foot on Australian soil. Mr Morrison said it was the beginning of a special relationship with Australia and its people.
“She loves this country,” he said. “She’s been here 16 times. You don’t if you don’t like the place, and she’s been back many times.”
He said the Queen understands the country and how life on land is.
“I think she admires the resilience of Australians who work and live here,” he said. “I think she has a lot of respect for them, and I think they’ve been given a lot of encouragement by her.
“They have a special relationship with her as Australian – even more so than anyone else here in this country.”
Australia’s relationship with the Royal Family is not a straightforward one, but their respect for the Queen has proven to be enduring.
In 1999, a referendum was held on whether the country should officially become a republic.
Of course not – and it’s worth noting that Malcolm Turnbull, who led the campaign to make the country a republic, has in recent days provided some of her most moving tributes.
He seemed to have tears in his eyes as he said, “She’s one of my favorites.”
In Sydneyoutside Government House, home to the Governor of New South Wales, many ordinary Australians came to lay flowers and pay their respects to her.
Along with the eulogy were messages of support for King Charles and important dates ahead for him.
Wherever this may take place in the next few years of this country, the political world all over the world recognizes that this is a time of mourning and gratitude for a life of service.