The late monarch wrote the letter after the building was restored in November of that year. Although the letter cannot be opened until 2085, the letter was given a set of instructions. The instructions read: “Greetings. On a suitable day to be selected by you in the year 2085 A.D. would you please open this envelope and convey to the citizens of SYDNEY my message to them.”
Initially opened in 1898 and named in honour of then-Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the building remains one of Sydney’s most important historic landmarks. In present times, it is used as a shopping centre. Australia is one of 54 countries in the Commonwealth mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8 in her residence at Balmoral, Scotland, aged 96. Fifteen of those nations, Australia included, had her as their head of state.
King Charles III now inherits that role, having officially been declared King on Saturday. As his first duty, he is now leading the way in paying tribute to his late mother, who ruled for over 70 years. Her funeral is due to take place on Monday, September 19. In 1999, Australians voted on whether or not they wanted to keep the Queen as their constitutional monarch. After all the votes were counted, it was found that 54.87 percent of Australians preferred to keep the monarchy and reject becoming a republic.
In total, the Queen visited Australia 16 times during her reign, averaging out to approximately one visit every four years and four months. During one of her visits in 1973, the Queen was present to witness the opening of the Sydney Opera House.
As a sign of respect for the late sovereign, the opera house’s sails were lit up with the Queen’s image on Friday and Saturday. The country has not declared any period of official mourning, but members of the public are able to sign condolence books at Parliament House and Government House in Canberra.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed he will be in attendance for the Queen’s funeral, along with several other current and former world leaders, who will also be meeting Charles for the first time as King. Australians will be given a one-off public holiday when its leader returns from the funeral while a national memorial service will be held at Parliament House to mark the Queen’s passing.