On behalf of the Liberal Party of South Australia, I express my great sadness at the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen's passing, at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland, will be felt around the world, but will be a particular loss for her family for she was of course a much-loved mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Queen Elizabeth demonstrated the epitome of public service, someone who dedicated her whole life to serving people, communities and charitable organisations, not just in the United Kingdom, but across the world. Her Majesty’s commitment to South Australia was strong, visiting our state on seven occasions during her reign, the last of which was in February 2002. The Queen was served in South Australia by 14 Governors and 15 Premiers.
For more than seven decades she has contributed steadfastly to the fabric of the Commonwealth, binding nations together through the shared strengths of humanity, rather than highlighting the things that divide us. In wartime, in the aftermath of tragedies, in seasons of darkness such as the recent pandemic, the Queen has been a beacon of light and an anchor of stability. She has provided continuity in times of unrest and guidance at moments of national and international uncertainty. She has endured as the world has changed.
I recall meeting the Queen in 2010 when representing Australia at a youth leadership forum in England. I attended a small Sunday church service at Windsor where she was also present. Afterwards I had the memorable opportunity to chat with her outside the church. She asked where I was from and she looked just a little confused when I said I was representing Australia, before I quickly clarified my accent. I'll never forget that after our conversation she opened her handbag, took out her car keys, hopped into the driver's seat of her car and drove off home for Sunday lunch. She was as remarkable as she was normal. This comforting normality was surely one of her greatest strengths.
Queen Elizabeth's legacy will be immense. She has shaped the fundamentals of our society and over the coming days and weeks I have no doubt many South Australians will respectfully grieve this remarkable woman's contribution to our world. I convey my sympathies to King Charles III and the Royal Family at what will be a time of substantial grief and significant change.