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Australia to hold day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 22

·1 min read

SYDNEY, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Australia will hold a national day of mourning on Sept. 22 for Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Sunday, declaring the day a public holiday.

Albanese said he would travel to London with Governor General David Hurley on Thursday, attend the queen's funeral on Sept. 19 then return to Australia on Sept. 21.

"Then the National Day of Mourning and the memorial service is set to be the day after," he told ABC television.

"That's to allow people to pay their respects for the passing of Queen Elizabeth," the prime minister said.

Albanese said Australia had offered to fly 10 of his Pacific Island counterparts and New Zealand dignitaries to Britain for the queen's funeral.

Hurley, the British monarch's representative in Australia, will officially proclaim King Charles as Australia's head of state at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on Sunday.

Asked about how Australians would view the new monarch, Albanese said King Charles would have to "forge his own path".

There has been an outpouring of tributes in Australia since the death on Thursday of the queen, who was Britain's longest-reigning monarch and the nation's figurehead for seven decades.

The British monarch is the head of state in Australia, among 14 realms outside the United Kingdom, although the role is largely ceremonial.

As a mark of respect, national flags in Australia are at half mast, parliament has been suspended and a giant portrait of the queen was displayed on the sails of the Sydney Opera House. (Reporting by Sam McKeith; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)