Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets with King Charles in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace in London.(Reuters: Steffan Rousseau)
Anthony Albanese meets King Charles at Buckingham Palace while in London to honour the Queen
(See translation in Arabic section)
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has offered his condolences to King Charles III during a private audience at Buckingham Palace.
Mr Albanese described the meeting as a "great honour" and said it was “not the time” to raise the prospect of cutting ties with the monarchy.
While Australians slept, Mr Albanese carried out a packed itinerary in London ahead of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on Monday.
He laid flowers in the Green Park tribute garden, viewed the Queen's coffin at Westminster Hall and signed an official condolence book at Lancaster House before sitting down for his first private meeting with the new monarch.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Mr Albanese described the meeting with the King as a warm engagement and said the new monarch was welcome to visit Australia "any time".
"That was a great honour and an opportunity for me to express my personal condolences to King Charles but also condolences on behalf of Australia," he said.
"King Charles, of course, has not just lost a sovereign and a head of state, for King Charles the loss of his mother is very personal and comes so soon after the loss of his father."
Protocol dictates that conversations with the monarch are not publicly disclosed, but Mr Albanese said there was "considerable engagement and discussion".
Asked if he had raised the possibility of Australia becoming a republic during his meeting with King Charles, Mr Albanese responded "now is not the time".
"It was a warm gathering and I've made my views very clear on that," he said.
"This is a time of respect."
Hundreds of thousands of people queued to see the Queen's lying in state inside the historic hall and some were granted a surprise visit by King Charles and Prince William, who thanked them for waiting.
Mr Albanese said he was moved by the number of people mourning the Queen.
"It was a very emotional experience," he said.
"The queues of British citizens and other visitors who want to pay tribute and want to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth was very momentous and you could feel the raw emotion in Westminster Hall."
Albanese also meets PM Liz Truss
Overnight Mr Albanese was one of a handful of world leaders who sat down with the new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Because the British government is in a formal mourning period, there were no press conferences or statements from either side about the meetings, but Mr Albanese described it as "very positive".
"It was one that didn't go into a great deal of detail. It was about the condolences, an opportunity to express condolences leader of government to leader of the UK government," he s aid. - Stephanie Dalzell