This is the text of a statement issued by the Prime Minister, John Howard.
Statement by Prime Minister John Howard:
DEATH OF HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH, THE QUEEN MOTHER
I know all Australians will join me in mourning the death earlier today of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at Windsor.
She was in every way a great and gracious lady, held in deep affection and respect by Australians.
Although we mourn her passing, it is an occasion to give thanks for a very long and special life, indeed one which touched three centuries, and lived according to values and traditions which provided stability and continuity to millions.
The Queen Mother’s remarkable life, spanning the entire period of Australia as a Federation, was one dedicated to service, duty, support and her family.
It will never be forgotten that during the darkest days of World War II when Britain, Australia and a few other nations stood alone against the Nazi onslaught, she remained with her husband the late King George VI in London through the worst of the blitz, providing hope and encouragement to their beleaguered people.
She and the late King had a special link with Australia having attended the opening of our first Parliament House in our national capital Canberra in 1927.
Personally with my wife Janette and on behalf of the government and people of Australia, I extend our deepest sympathies to The Queen and all members of the Royal Family.