Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at a state church service for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in Wellington.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined other dignitaries at a state church service to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.
Ardern was inspired by the words of former Prime Minister Sidney Holland, from 1952, who witnessed Elizabeth’s accession to St James’s Palace 70 years ago.
“Our new and beloved Queen took her oath of membership, and signing… her name, for the first time, ‘Elizabeth’, then she hesitated, and she added, for the first time, the letter ‘R’,” Holland told parliament, after returning from the UK.
Ardern repeated his words: “It occurred to me that I was witnessing, in this company, the history being written at that time, and I wondered how often this young hand will sign the same name in the coming days.”
Ardern attended the Anglican church service with dignitaries in Wellington, including Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann, who is the government administrator.
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Overnight, ceremonies across the UK celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
She is the first British monarch to reach 70 years on the throne.
In the UK, a week of events are planned to mark the occasion including a concert at Buckingham Palace and a military parade, the Trooping of the Colour, which took place on Thursday evening (New Zealand time).
Also on Thursday night, a beacon was lit in Wellington and Auckland’s Sky Tower turned orange to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Wellington was one of the first capitals in the world to light a beacon for the Jubilee. The fire was lit shortly after 9 p.m. atop Mount Victoria, with Mana Whenua, Mayor of Wellington Andy Foster and former Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae taking part in the ceremony.