The Queen has performed another virtual engagement last week, unveiling a statue of herself – in Australia! The Monarch, 94, spoke to the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Hon. Hieu Van Le and the Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall.
The video call saw the Australians talk from Government House in Adelaide, where they were giving The Queen an update on the region’s Covid-19 response and the rollout of vaccinations to frontline workers.
She opened the call: “Good morning,” before realising the time difference, and noticing it appeared dark outside.
This is the first video call made to the antipodean kingdom by The Queen, with technology allowing her a presence in even the furthest countries and realms. Her last visit to Australia was in 2002, the year of her Golden Jubilee.
“We’re now getting back to almost a sense of normality,” Mr Marshall said, citing numerous events and festivals that were held recently.
The royal reply came: “That must be very encouraging, that they can all get together.”
Her Majesty, wearing her pearl trefoil brooch, was shown footage of the statue in the gardens. It depicts her in bronze, wearing a hat and pearls, and carrying her iconic Launer handbag,. Sculptor Robert Hannaford was responsible for the creation.
She joked: “It possibly might be quite alarming to suddenly see it out of the window. Thinking ‘good gracious! has she arrived her unexpectedly?'”
The Queen was told it was the most popular place on the estate to pose for a photograph now, which she found amusing. “Oh really?”
A maquette was presented to her as a memento; a scale model of the statue will be sent from South Australia to The Queen.
The Queen has been spending the pandemic at Windsor Castle with The Duke of Edinburgh, until recently, when he was admitted to hospital.