A surprise Australian act has been asked to perform at Queen Elizabeth’s memorial service, Anthony Albanese has revealed.
Australians will have a single public holiday for the national day of mourning for the late monarch on Thursday, with the public holiday coinciding with a memorial service.
The Prime Minister told Sky News the event, which will be held at Parliament House in Canberra, will feature a performance by singer Anthony Callea and TV presenter Melissa Doyle will be MC.
“It will be an important day to honor 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 “short tributes” from Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton.
Mr Albanese, who is personally leaning towards Australia becoming a republic, dismissed critics who slammed the Prime Minister for refusing to engage in the debate so soon after the Queen’s death.
“I have a responsibility to represent the nation right now,” he said.
“There has of course always been a debate about our Constitution and these issues, and it’s up to people to do what they think is right.
“I think it is very important that in this time of mourning, I express the point of view that the nation feels at this time, which is a time of mourning, but also of giving thanks.
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 evening.
The guest list is expected to include US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as serving members of the royal family.
Mr Albanese said he had a ‘positive’ meeting with Ms Truss and suggested he raise issues such as the trade deal and AUKUS with the new UK Prime Minister.
However, as Britain is currently in mourning, an official reading of the meeting has not been provided.
Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral will take place on Monday evening Australian time.
Originally published as Surprise act to headline the Queen’s memorial in Canberra