Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Reception for Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla

Rod and I warmly welcome you to Government House to mark the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, and Queen Camilla.

It is a great honour to host this reception as His Majesty’s Representative in South Australia, having just returned home from London.

You have come from across the state, all walks of life, all serving our community, and Rod and I thank you.

During the celebrations, I had the privilege of meeting His Majesty who remarked on his deep affection for South Australia and our people.

It was clear His Majesty has an enduring fondness for Australia and South Australia, shaped in part by his teenage years as a student for six months at Geelong Grammar’s Timbertop rural campus and his 16 visits to Australia, including six to our State.

While it is unlikely that the length of the historic reign of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, will ever be surpassed, it is evident that King Charles wishes to honour her legacy in all that he does.

The warmth with which he has been welcomed to his new role has been evident, not just on the part of Australians camped out on the Mall in London, but by messages of congratulations written in the Commemorative Books here at Government House.

I share a few:

Congratulations and do your mother proud!

A new chapter.

One that is quintessentially Australian: You’ve been waiting so long and now it’s arrived. Keep up your good work with the environment. Love you Possum!

And one that show respect no matter the personal views: Congratulations – even though I’m a republican.

I invite you, should you wish, to add your own congratulatory messages in the books available this evening.

While Prince of Wales, His Majesty was widely respected for his long-time championing of environmental issues and his encouragement of diversity and opportunity.

His Majesty has often spoken of the importance of issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health, and economic co-operation.

I am sure we all share his desire to harness diversity of thought, culture, tradition, and experience as a force for good.

I encourage you to consider how you can contribute to these goals within your own spheres of service, service the value of which the King himself has repeatedly acknowledged – including during the Coronation itself, and through the Prince of Wales, at the Coronation Concert, held at Windsor Castle on Sunday evening.


Here at Government House, we wanted to provide an opportunity for South Australians to celebrate the Coronation, as many would not have witnessed such an historic milestone in their lifetime.

Along with other prominent Adelaide buildings, the House has been illuminated in Royal Purple since the night of the Coronation, until tonight.

On the Eve of the Coronation, the grounds were opened at lunchtime for performances by the 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australian Regiment Band.

In addition, members the State Opera performed selections from Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S Pinafore.

That opera, as some of you know, was performed for the Queen and the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle during Her Late Majesty’s Silver Jubilee.

As part of the Government House Open Day on Sunday 21 May, we will plant commemorative Golden Wattles in the grounds – our national floral emblem, its resilience symbolic of the spirit of Australians.

The King was very enthusiastic about this when we spoke!


The Coronation of King Charles provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the exemplary service and remarkable sense of duty that was the hallmark of the life of the Late Queen and which our new King will, in his own way, undoubtedly continue.

I know the goodwill of all here present will be with him in his endeavours.

I now ask you to charge your glasses and join me in the Loyal Toast:

To His Majesty the King, and the people of South Australia

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