During the call, the 96-year-old marvelled over how “splendid” it was that technology made their long-distance meeting possible.
The call included recently retired professional wheelchair tennis player Dylan Alcott, Valmai Dempsey, Dr Daniel Nour and Shanna Whan, who all sat together with their eyes glued on the Queen.
The call took place on May 9, with Governor-General of Australia David Hurley noting to the Queen that on that day 34 years ago she had opened Parliament House in Canberra.
“Oh!” the 96-year-old remarked in surprise before recalling “that bit of water”, referring to The Pool of Reflection, the lobby’s water feature.
“That little pond inside intrigued me very much indeed. I wondered how many people had fallen in it,” she joked.
Funnily enough, said water feature has become an infamous site for unexpected dunkings over the past years.
The call was organised as a way to commemorate the Queen and her 70 years of service since she was unable to travel to Australia.
The idea came from one of Hurley’s own staff members suggesting that if the Queen couldn’t come to Australia, why not take Australia to the Queen?
While the Queen shared a laugh with the award winners, she also commended them for their charity work and thanked them for their services.
“When I told my mum last night that I was getting to meet you, she cried,” Alcott said to the Queen, earning a smile and giggle from Her Majesty.
After the 18 minute long call, Dr Nour said he thought the Queen was “cheeky” and “down to earth”.
“I love the cheeky smile and how she just wanted to have a chat,” he said
While Whan commented how she “couldn’t stop thinking about the years of service” the Queen had completed.
“I feel inspired to keep going,” she said.
Agreeing, Senior Australian of the Year Valmai Dempsey said the call was “far greater than any dream I’ve ever had. I feel so privileged”.
The release of the intimate call comes after the famous Sydney Habour Bridge lit up in purple to mark Australia’s celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, ironically at the same time Australia appointed Matt Thistlethwaite as the first Assistant Minister for the Republic, tasked with managing the country’s conversion from a Monarchy to a Republic.
Thistlethwaite was sworn in by David Hurley, the Queen’s Representative, on June 2, saying there’s no better time than now to start the conversation of Australia’s transition.
According to the new minister, the Queen “comes to the twilight of her reign, it’s a good opportunity for a serious discussion about what comes next for Australia”.
Thistlethwaite says his primary goal is to teach the people of Australia about the current constitutional arrangements of having a British Monarch inheriting the role of Head of State, as opposed to an Australian chosen Head of State.
“Literally hundreds of Australians could perform the role, so why wouldn’t we appoint an Australian as our pinnacle position under the constitution? It will take time, but if you want to do it properly, we should begin the discussion now, so we’re ready to go in the second term of an Albanese government,” he said.