Sydney: A secret letter written by Queen Elizabeth II is locked inside a vault in Sydney, and the interesting this is, that it cannot be opened for 63 years! The letter is inside a vault in a historic building in Sydney and was written by her in November 1986 and is addressed to the people of Sydney, said a 7NEWS Australia report, adding that nobody, not even the Queen`s personal staff, is aware of what the letter says as it is hidden inside a glass case in a secure location. One thing is sure, though: it can`t be opened until 2085.
Addressed to the Lord Mayor of Sydney, the Queen’s instruction reads, “On a suitable day to be selected by you in the year 2085 AD, would you please open this envelope and convey to the citizens of Sydney my message to them.” It is simply signed, “Elizabeth R.” As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia 16 times.
“From her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia,” Albanese said in a statement Friday, adding “Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours.”
In 1999, Australia held a referendum on whether to remove the Queen as head of state, but it was reportedly defeated. Sydney`s iconic Opera House was lit on Friday with a tribute to the Queen. Neighbouring commonwealth country New Zealand on Sunday officially proclaimed King Charles III as its head of state in a televised ceremony, a CNN report said.
Notably, Australia too on Sunday proclaimed King Charles III as the head of state, the first new Monarch in 70 years.
Rules issued for those wanting to pay respects to the Queen
People wanting to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II as she lies in state at the Houses of Parliament in London need to be prepared for a long wait and forget about trying to take a selfie with her coffin. The government has published guidelines for people wishing to file past the late queen’s closed coffin as it lies in state at the Palace of Westminster from 5 pm (1600 GMT) Wednesday until 6:30 am (0530 GMT) on September 19. Thousands are expected to want to pay tribute to the only monarch that many in the United Kingdom have ever known.
The rules were made public a day after thousands of people lined roads and bridges Sunday as a hearse carried the queen’s coffin across the Scottish countryside from her beloved Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh.
“If you wish to attend the Lying-in-State, please note that there will be a queue, which is expected to be very long. You will need to stand for many hours, possibly overnight, with very little opportunity to sit down as the queue will be continuously moving,” the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in its guidelines.
The closed coffin of the monarch who died Thursday at 96 will rest on a raised platform called a catafalque in Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament.
The ministry advises people to bring essentials for a potentially long wait exposed to whatever elements an early fall day in London can throw at them-an umbrella or sunscreen, a cell phone power bank and any needed medication. No food or liquids will be allowed past security screening at the Houses of Parliament. Nor will flowers or other tributes such as candles, toys or photographs.
A long list of prohibited items includes fireworks, smoke canisters, flares, whistles, laser devices and other items that could be used to cause a disturbance as well as any banners, placards, flags, advertising or marketing messages.
What’s next for the UK as Queen Elizabeth II laid to rest
The death of Queen Elizabeth II set in motion a tightly choreographed series of ceremonial and constitutional steps, as Britain undergoes a period of national mourning and enters the reign of King Charles III. A long-established 10-day plan, code-named Operation London Bridge, covers arrangements for the queen’s final journey to London and state funeral, according to an AP report.
Here is a look at what will happen in the coming days:
Sunday, Sept 11: The queen’s oak coffin was carried from Balmoral Castle in Scotland by six gamekeepers from her estate and put into a seven-vehicle entourage. Then it was driven slowly to Edinburgh, passing through towns and villages in the Scottish countryside.
People paid their respects along the route, from lining rural roads to coming together in huge crowds in Edinburgh. It rests overnight at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital.
– Charles was proclaimed king in other parts of the UK: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
– In London, the new king hosted a reception for diplomats from the 14 other Commonwealth countries where he is king.
Monday, Sept 12: King Charles II and Camilla, the Queen Consort, will visit Parliament to receive condolences from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The royal couple then fly to Edinburgh where they attend a service of remembrance for the queen, visit the Scottish Parliament and meet senior officials.
-The queen’s coffin, accompanied by the king and queen consort, will travel to Edinburgh’s St. Giles’ Cathedral where it will stay for 24 hours so the public can pay their respects. Members of the royal family will hold a vigil by the coffin in the evening.
Tuesday Sept 13: The queen’s coffin is taken by hearse to Edinburgh Airport. It will be flown by the Royal Air Force to London and taken to Buckingham Palace. The king and Camilla will visit Northern Ireland, where they meet politicians and faith leaders and attend a service of remembrance at St. Anne’s Cathedral.
Wednesday, Sept 14: The coffin is transported from Buckingham Palace to Parliament on a gun carriage, with the king and other royals walking behind. It is placed in Parliament’s medieval Westminster Hall, where the archbishop of Canterbury conducts a short service. The queen will then lie in state for four days, until the morning of her funeral. Members of the public will be able to pay their respects and troops will keep a round-the-clock vigil.
Friday, Sept 16: The King and Queen consort will visit Wales.
Monday, Sept 19: The queen’s coffin will be taken from Westminster Hall to nearby Westminster Abbey for a state funeral that begins at 11 am. Leaders and dignitaries from around the world are expected to attend. The funeral marks the end of 10 days of national morning, and the day will be a public holiday across the UK.
(With ANI/AP Inputs)