The Australians invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey


Ten Australians have been given an exclusive invitation to the Queen’s funeral next week.

Excluding dignitaries such as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and his partner Jodie Haydon, only ten have been invited to the service in London’s Westminster Abbey following Monday as per strict protocol.

Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott will be in attendance, after making Her Majesty giggle during a Zoom call in May.

Legendary racehorse trainer Chris Waller also received a formal invite. 

Valmai Dempsey, the 2022 senior Australian of the Year, who has volunteered for St John Ambulance for more than 50 years, will also attend.

Dr Miriam Rose, the 2021 Senior Australian of the Year, has also been named on the list. She became the Northern Territory’s first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher in 1975 and pioneered a unique brand of education, fusing Western knowledge with cultural learning.

Shanna Whan, the 2022 Australian of the Year Local Hero, will also attend. After overcoming a battle with alcohol addiction, she has dedicated her life to helping others get sober. 

Sabra Abraham – a local hero from Queensland, Kim Smith – a local hero from Tasmania, Trudy Lin- the 2022 Young Australian of the Year, and Danny Abdallah – a co-creator of I Forgive Day after his three kids died after being hit by a drunk driver, will also attend. 

Returned Services League president Greg Melick has also been invited to attend. 

Despite most of the attendees being named as Australians of The Year, last year’s winner of the award Grace Tame will not be attending.

‘The Australians who have been invited I think embody an extraordinary contribution to our nation,’ Mr Albanese said.

Dylan Alcott is one of the few Aussies who have been invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

Legendary race horse trainer Chris Waller is also expected to receive a formal invite, but has said he's yet to get the official call

Legendary race horse trainer Chris Waller is also expected to receive a formal invite, but has said he’s yet to get the official call

Protocol means only ten Aussies are able to attend, excluding dignitaries

Protocol means only ten Aussies are able to attend, excluding dignitaries 

Mr Waller, who is best known for training the recording-breaking mare Winx, was in regular contact with the Queen leading up to her death on Thursday, aged 96.

The monarch had a passion for thoroughbred horse racing and has one of her horses, Chalk Stream, in Mr Waller’s stable. 

The Sydney-based trainer and his wife Stephanie gave Her Majesty a shoe from Winx’s final win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes as a memento at a lunch during Royal Ascot. 

Wheelchair tennis champ Alcott met the Queen back in May over a videocall with other Aussies honoured with awards on Australia Day.

During his introduction the 31-year-old discussed his sporting achievements and showdowns with British tennis stars over the years.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his girlfriend Jodie Haydon will be at the service

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his girlfriend Jodie Haydon will be at the service

‘I fortunately won a couple Wimbledon titles and beat some Great Britain players, which I was happy about but maybe you weren’t so happy about,’ he joked.

The cheeky quip was enough to draw a chuckle out of the Queen.

The 15-time Grand Slam singles title holder then explained the reason he ‘gets up in the morning’ is to change people’s perceptions of disability and what the Australian of the Year award has meant to him.

‘I get emotional talking about it to be honest,’ he said.

‘When I was a young kid I used to hate myself, your Majesty.

‘If I thought anybody in a wheelchair – let alone myself – would be Australian of the Year, I wouldn’t have believed you.

‘When I told my mum that I was getting to meet you, she cried.’

While it's understood wheelchair tennis champion Alcott will be at the funeral, former Australian of the Year Grace Tame was not on the invite list

While it’s understood wheelchair tennis champion Alcott will be at the funeral, former Australian of the Year Grace Tame was not on the invite list

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and former Prime Minister Scott Morrison have not been invited

Mr Morrison earlier described the Queen as having a deep love for horses

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and former Prime Minister Scott Morrison have not been invited 

Other dignitaries at the Queen’s funeral include Governor-General David Hurley and his wife Linda, and Australia’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK, Lynette Wood. 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and former Prime Minister Scott Morrison have not been invited. 

The Queen was known to have a deep love for horses, with Mr Morrison recalling her acting like a ‘schoolgirl’ when he gifted her a signed biography of retired champion racehorse Winx. 

The former prime minister presented Her Majesty with the gift during a visit with his wife Jenny to Buckingham Palace in June 2019.

Mr Morrison had been granted an audience after leading the Coalition government to victory at the federal election. 

He admitted he was nervous and had no idea what gift he should present to the Queen so he turned to former Liberal prime minister John Howard for advice.

‘And he said, ‘mate she loves horses, she loves her horses’, and so you know, we came up with the idea of the Winx biography,’ he told Sky News on Friday.

The Royal Family also have a connection to the Irwins, with Terri, Bindi and Robert having met King Charles back in 2018

The Royal Family also have a connection to the Irwins, with Terri, Bindi and Robert having met King Charles back in 2018

‘And so we brought it along and I had it in the little bag there as we met, we were bowing and holding this bag.

‘We mentioned it to her and she was pretty keen to sort of pull it out. She pulls it out, like a schoolgirl, she’s flicking through and looking at the photos.’

Winx is an Australian thoroughbred racehorse that won 33 consecutive races between May 2015 and her retirement in April 2019. 

Mr Morrison said the Queen ‘really lit up’ when he spoke to her about her love for horses.

Mr Howard said her passion and knowledge of the animal was evident when he met the Queen during a trip to Windsor Castle as prime minister in 1997.

‘I mentioned something about Winx and, of course, her eyes lit up,’ he told ABC.

‘I’d really struck a great chord. I think she had more knowledge of Winx than I did. 

‘I mean, I knew a little bit about Winx, but I didn’t pretend that I’d had a Bob Hawke-like knowledge of it.’

The Royal Family also developed a close bond with the Irwins, but Terri isn’t likely to be in attendance at the funeral on Monday.

Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin met the then Prince Charles in 2018 to discuss the much-needed preservation of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. 

A source said Charles was ‘absolutely charmed’ by the Irwins who spoke to him about sea turtles, New Idea reported.  

‘He told friends afterwards that if even a handful of young ones had the enthusiasm of Robert and Bindi, then the future would be in great hands,’ the source said.

Robert was also announced as an ambassador for Prince William’s climate-change initiative Earthshot Prize last year.

The pair spoke in an interview shared with People magazine, where the royal told Robert his late father Steve would be proud of him.

After Robert told William he was a big fan of crocodiles, much like Steve, the royal said: ‘Honestly, I was a big fan of your dad [Steve Irwin] and I am so sorry…He’d be very proud of you Robert. And what you continued. Your passion is only second to his.’ 

‘It’s no surprise that you’re a fan of crocodiles as well. The family trait has continued into the next generation I am sure.’

Steve Irwin died on September 4, 2006, after being pierced through the chest by a stingray barb while filming on the Great Barrier Reef. 

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