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Goodness Gracious: Queen Elizabeth II Cracks Jokes on First Video Call to Australia

The Queen showed her sense of humour during her first video call to Australia, in a video meeting with the Governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le, and Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall MP.

In the video released by The Royal Family Channel, the 94-year-old greets her guests joking:

"Good morning, well that’s good morning to me. I don’t know what time of day it is to you."

Governor of SA Hieu Van Le explains he understands it’s her first-ever video call to Australia and that he’s honoured to receive a call from her. In the conversation, Premier Steven Marshall discusses the current climate of the region, including the vaccination rollout, the response to COVID-19 and the lifting of restrictions in the state. Premier Marshall says:

"We’re now getting almost back to a sense of normality here in South Australia. We have the Adelaide Festival of Arts on at the moment, we have the Adelaide Fringe Festival on and these are major festivals.”

In response to Marshall, The Queen says:

"That sounds very good. It must be very encouraging that they can all get together too."

The call was also to unveil a statue of The Queen herself which was recently installed at Government House. Governer Le says to Her Majesty:

"Your majesty, a few years ago we had a discussion with a number of people here who wanted to gift a statue to the government house. Ever since we installed the statue, it has been the most popular place for people to take photographs."

Amused she responds with, “Really?” and laughs. She then jokes about people being alarmed seeing it out the windows and jokes about people thinking it was really her. She says:

"Yes I would think possibly it might quite alarming to just suddenly see it out of the window… Goodness gracious, has she arrived here unexpectedly?"

Sculptor Robert Hannaford was on the call and gifted The Queen with a maquette of the statue, a smaller-scale version of the original. It will be sent from South Australia to Her Majesty as a memento. Queen Elizabeth then jokes:

"Oh that’s very kind, I’m glad it’s not quite as big as the original statue.”