Festal Choral Evensong to mark the Coronation
Lieutenant Governor, the Hon Chief Justice Peter Quinlan at the Festal Choral Evensong to mark the Coronation

Evensong marking the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III

Address by the Honourable Peter Quinlan, Lieutenant Governor and deputy of the Governor. 

St George’s Cathedral

Yesterday’s Coronation ceremony formally marked the seamless transition of the sovereignty of the Crown from Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to His Majesty King Charles III.

In accordance with tradition, as has happened for over a thousand years, that solemn ceremony took place in a house of worship such as this, with eyes and hearts lifted to another throne, the wood of the Cross: that eternal site of sacrifice and service. As the Coronation ceremony made present, it is a life of sacrifice and service to which our new King is called.

As with all living traditions, however, that ceremony was marked by evolution and renewal. The new King was prayed over by the heads of the various Christian denominations in the Kingdom, and was marked by the welcome and recognition of leaders of all faiths, including Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh. As so with the best traditions it looked outward, towards the inclusion of all.

So too, in this place we mark the sovereignty of the new King, with traditions both ancient and new, drawing upon both our shared and our different pasts and looking forward to our future, enriched as we are by the welcome to these ancient lands by Barry Winmar on behalf of its Traditional Owners whose laws and customs co-exist with the sovereignty of the Crown. And so the Crown finds its unique place in our own unique context on this continent, a place that will no doubt continue to evolve into the future.

Because constitutional evolution is nothing new for our Crown. Indeed, it is the combination of stability and evolution that has been its greatest genius.

Nowhere was this clearer than in the remarkable and transformational reign of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In her more than 70 years as Queen, Her Majesty presided over what, we might reflect, was the most successful, peaceful transformation of sovereignty that history has yet witnessed. Her Majesty’s watchful oversight of decades of transition from Empire to Commonwealth, and of de-colonisation, helped redefine our understanding of the sovereignty of the Crown, while remaining faithful to its traditions and the stability that have always been its hallmark.

His Majesty King Charles III lived through that transformation. His Majesty observed it first-hand and, as Prince of Wales, made his own significant contributions to it. There can be no doubt that His Majesty will continue to reign in a way that brings out the genius of the Crown’s continuity, its stability and its flexibility. Today is an opportunity to celebrate all that that means for Australia.

I would now like to read a message from His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM, Governor of Western Australia.

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla is a momentous occasion, marking the beginning of a new era of the British monarchy.

Yesterday’s historic ceremonial event was one that the world hadn’t experienced since Queen Elizabeth II became the monarch 70 years ago, and no doubt, it will be quite some time before there is another. At the age of 73, King Charles III had been the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, being just 3 years old when his Grandfather King George VI died.

Millions of people all around the world yesterday watched the telecasts of the pageantry and celebrations – of a coronation ceremony that has remained largely the same for over a thousand years.

I was honoured to be invited to attend the service at Westminster Abbey, and as you know, I’m currently in London after accepting the invitation on behalf of Western Australia.

Our new sovereign has dedicated his life to serving the Commonwealth. He has shown his commitment to our nation through his tireless work as patron of many Australian charities and organisations, and we know he will continue his work for the betterment of our nation and our people.

He has been a steadfast advocate for causes that are close to his heart, including environmental conservation, education, and healthcare, and has already shown his commitment to tackling some of our biggest global challenges, including climate change and social justice.

It is important that we continue to look forward with hope and optimism, and I am confident that with the leadership of His Majesty King Charles III, we will meet these challenges and seize opportunities with courage and determination.

View and download a pdf version here.

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