Queen Elizabeth was in high spirits during the call (Picture: ABC)
The Queen was all smiles as she cracked jokes during a zoom call with Australians of Year, who praised her ‘cheeky’ and ‘down to earth’ sense of humour.
Her Majesty has been suffering from mobility issues in recent months, forcing her to pull out of key Jubilee events this weekend including a service at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Epsom Derby.
But the nation’s longest serving monarch has not let that dampen her mood.
The Queen was in high spirits during a meeting with six people from down under, who remarked with some surprise on her ‘cheeky’ sense of humour.
During the Zoom call the 96-year-old monarch praised the ‘splendid’ technology which enabled her to chat to people on the other side of the world.
The call, which took place on May 9 but was only made public today, began with Governor-General of Australia David Hurley noting to the Queen that it was 34 years to the day since she had opened Parliament House in Canberra.
The Queen joked that she remembered the water feature inside because she was scared about falling in it.
‘That little pond inside intrigued me very much indeed,’ she said, adding with a broad smile: ‘I wondered how many people had fallen in it.’
It was not clear if she knew that in the three decades since its creation, the feature – known as the Pool of Reflection – has become notorious in Canberra for causing such incidents.
Dylan Alcott – a four-time Paralympic gold-medal winner – was the first to introduce himself to the Queen, telling her that when he informed his mother he would be meeting the monarch she had burst into tears.
He joked that he ‘unfortunately won a couple of Wimbledon titles’, beating Great Britain’s players which she may not have been ‘so happy about’ – prompting laughter from the monarch.
‘The reason I get out of bed every day is to change perceptions, so people with disability, people like me, can get out and live the lives they deserve to live,’ Mr Alcott added.
The tennis star became slightly emotional as he told the Queen about ‘the honour’ of being an advocate for people with a disability as Australian of the Year.
‘When I was a young kid I used to hate myself, Your Majesty, and… if I thought anybody in a wheelchair, let alone myself, could be Australian of the Year, I wouldn’t have believed you,’ Mr Alcott said.
‘When I told my mum last night that I was getting to meet you, she cried… So I think I’ve made her very proud as well.’
Platinum Junilee celebrations will continue this weekend (Picture: Getty)
Also meeting the Queen was Young Australian of the Year, Dr Daniel Nour, 25, who founded a mobile medical service that provides GP-led, medical access to those who are experiencing homelessness and are vulnerable.
Dr Nour told the Queen he first had the idea for the service while studying at Imperial College London.
‘I came across a man who was having a seizure at Waterloo, just outside of the train station,’ he explained.
Following the call, the 2022 Australians of the Year marvelled to ABC News over the Queen’s ‘cheeky’ sense of humour and how ‘down to earth’ they found her.
‘She’s pretty cool. I’m not going lie,’ Mr Alcott said. ‘She was lovely. She was so lovely and what a huge honour to be able to represent the whole of Australia. The six of us, we’re pretty lucky and it’s something I’ll remember forever.’
‘She’s cheeky. I love that she’s cheeky,’ Dr Nour added. ‘She had a cheeky smile… and was so down to earth and so lovely.’
More: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
The ABC’s broadcast of the call to mark the Queen’s Jubilee came the same day as Australia’s recently elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese renamed Aspen Island on Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin as Queen Elizabeth II Island.
He said it was a ‘fitting tribute’ to the monarch who had made ’16 trips to our shores’ during her 70-year reign.
However, the praise came days after he appointed the country’s first minister tasked with overseeing a transition to a republic – raising the prospect of the Queen no longer being head of state.
Matt Thistlethwaite was sworn in by the newly elected Labor government as assistant minister for the republic on the eve of the Jubilee and said the occasion gave Australians food for thought about the country’s future.
‘As the Queen comes to the twilight of her reign, we can appropriately – and we should — pay respect to her for the wonderful job that she’s done,’ Mr Thistlethwaite said.
‘But Australians are now beginning to start to think about what comes next for our country. And I think it’s time that we start the serious conversation once again about what comes next for Australia after Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends.
‘Australia is an independent nation. We have our own unique identity and culture. Each and every Australian, no matter their background, birthplace, gender or religion should be able to aspire to be our nation’s head of state.
‘My role is very much one of education in the initial stages: explaining to people that we do have a foreign monarch as our head of state, we have a proxy representative in the governor-general, but that we can have an Australian as our head of state.’
The new government – which ended a decade of Conservative rule when it was voted in last month – has informally pledged for a referendum on a republic in its next term if it wins a second election, with Mr Albanese prioritising a referendum for constitutional recognition of the country’s Indigenous peoples.
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