Nation to honour Queen as King proclaimed

·3-min read

Australians will be able to pay their respects for the late Queen Elizabeth II on a national day of mourning after Charles III was officially declared the country's new sovereign.

A one-off public holiday will be extended nationwide for the commemoration on September 22, three days after the funeral of the Queen in London.

Governor-General David Hurley proclaimed Charles III as monarch at a ceremony at Parliament House on Sunday.

Australia's Executive Council, which formally advises the governor-general, earlier met in Canberra to recommend the proclamation.

The governor-general said the council had a weighty responsibility.

"Australia is an unfinished product. It is now entering a new era," Mr Hurley said ahead of the meeting.

"Most Australians have not known a world without Queen Elizabeth II, her passing is the end of an era."

The ceremony began with a procession of the Australian Defence Force followed by a welcome to country.

Following the proclamation, God Save the King was played, with flags raised to full mast.

They will be returned to half mast at dusk until the day after the funeral for the late monarch, which is scheduled for September 19.

An Indigenous spiritual dance preceded a 21-gun salute, which rang out across the capital.

MPs and senators from across the political divide watched the proceedings, while large crowds also gathered outside Parliament House to witness the proclamation, with some attendees waiting for more than an hour.

Gundagai's Colin Lyon travelled more than two hours to Canberra for the event, telling AAP it was important to be there for the historic occasion.

"No doubt the (republic) debate will be revived at some point in the foreseeable future, but you know, now's not the time," he said.

State proclamation ceremonies also took place across the country following the proclamation in Canberra.

A national memorial service for the Queen will be held at Parliament House on September 22 and it will be attended by the governor general, prime minister, premiers and other dignitaries.

"I encourage all Australians, wherever you may be, to take time to pause and reflect on Her Majesty's extraordinary life of service," Mr Albanese said.

The prime minister said there had been an outpouring of grief following the Queen's death.

"Queen Elizabeth was admired for her devotion to duty, for her commitment to the people of the United Kingdom, to the people of the Commonwealth including Australia and indeed to the world," he said.

"Today, we mark formally the new head of state in King Charles III and in the proclamation, the first in my lifetime and the first in a majority of Australians' lifetime, is an historic event."

The prime minister and Mr Hurley will travel to London on Thursday to attend the funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Before then, the Queen's coffin will be driven from Balmoral Castle to Scotland's capital Edinburgh and be flown to London later in the week.

It will remain at Buckingham Palace before being taken to Westminster Hall to lie in state for four days, allowing the public to pay their respects.

Mr Albanese said assistance has been given to representatives from 10 Pacific island nations that have connections with the Commonwealth to travel to London for the funeral.

Since the Queen's death, more than 13,700 condolences have been made online on government websites, while many more people have left floral and other tributes at government houses in Canberra and state capitals.