Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has retold the story of his birth as he recalled his late mother’s “regard” for Queen Elizabeth II.
Mr Albanese spoke to ABC Radio Melbourne ahead of attending Her Majesty’s state funeral alongside Governor-General David Hurley and nine everyday Australians in London on Monday.
He was asked by host Virginia Trioli what role the monarchy played in his family life and whether his mum Maryanne was a “fan” of the Queen.
Mr Albanese said while his mother was a republican she also “liked the Queen”, before going on to detail a family story from the day he was born.
“I think you can have different views but have respect for Queen Elizabeth and the role that she had,” Mr Albanese said.
“When I was about to be born, my mother in 1963, the royal visit, my mother insisted on the way to the hospital to give birth to me, going via the city, George Street, to see all the festival paraphernalia.”
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, toured Australia from February 18 to March 27, 1963.
The royal couple were in Sydney when Mr Albanese was born on March 2.
The Prime Minister said his mother’s insistence on going through the city during the royal visit was a “fairly famous” story in his family.
“So my mother did have regard for Queen Elizabeth,” he said.
“I think the fact that Queen Elizabeth was such a strong woman was a role model as well for so many people.”
Mr Albanese also opened up about attending the Queen’s lying in state at Westminster Hall along with his partner Jodie Haydon.
“It was a very solemn occasion, and it was very emotional,” he said.
“And you could feel the emotion from people as they were filing through.”
The Prime Minister said he was struck by the “sense of history” as he walked through the room to pay his respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
“You see the Beefeaters and that whole sense that you were a part of it. I feel a real sense of privilege, as well, to be the Australian Prime Minister,” he said.
“I have visited Westminster Hall on many occasions, that’s where often you walk through in order to get into the chambers of Parliament.
“I’ve had many meetings there over a long period, going back to my first visit to London which was as a backpacker in 1988. And so this was a very different occasion, but I was back in the same room.”
Queen Elizabeth II died at her Balmoral residence on Thursday September 8.
Her state funeral will be streamed live on SkyNews.com.au from 8pm AEST on Monday.
You can watch the Queen’s State Funeral Service live and uninterrupted on SkyNews.com.au.