Anthony Albanese reported that a surprise Australian group was allowed to perform at Queen Elizabeth’s memorial service.
Australians will be treated to a one-off public holiday on a national day of mourning for the late monarch on Thursday, with the holiday coinciding with a memorial service.
The Prime Minister told Sky News that the event, which will be held at Parliament House in Canberra, will feature singer Anthony Callea and TV presenter Melissa Doyle will MC.
“This will be an important day to pay tribute to the life and service of Queen Elizabeth II,” Mr Albanese said.
Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers, High Court judges and federal parliamentarians have been invited to the service, which will include “brief tributes” from Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.
Mr Albanese, who personally favors Australia becoming a republic, dismissed critics who have slammed the Prime Minister for refusing to enter the debate so soon after the Queen’s death.
“It is my duty to represent the nation at this time,” he said.
“There has always been debate about our Constitution and these issues, of course, and people should act on what they think is right.
“I think it is very important that in this period of mourning I express what the vast majority of the nation feels at this time, which is a time of sorrow but also a time of thanksgiving.”
Mr Albanese, who met his British counterpart Liz Truss and King Charles overnight, will attend a reception for world leaders at Buckingham Palace on Sunday night.
The list of invitees is expected to include US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as working members of the royal family.
Mr Albanese said he had a “positive” meeting with Ms Truss and suggested he raised issues such as the trade deal and AUKUS with the new UK prime minister.
However, given that the UK is currently in mourning, no official information about the meeting has been released.
Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral will take place on Monday evening Australian time.