Australians will be asked to observe a minute’s silence at 11am on Thursday to reflect on Queen Elizabeth II’s life of service.

Quiet reflection will kick off a national memorial service to be held in Canberra on Thursday – which has been declared a public holiday and a national day of mourning.

The service in Parliament’s Great Hall will be MC’d by broadcaster Melissa Doyle and attended by the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, Governor General David Hurley and other officials.

Albanese said the memorial service would be an opportunity for all Australians to “honor our faithful monarch for the past 70 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”.

“As we pay tribute to his majesty, I encourage all Australians to reflect on his extraordinary life of dedication and service with a minute of silence every 11am,” he said.

“Her Majesty had a deep affection for Australia and has been fondly remembered by Australians since her death. The Queen lived her life with dignity and grace that will be remembered for centuries to come.

Among others, the Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton, state and territory first ministers, MPs, High Court judges and members of the diplomatic corps are expected to attend the service.

It will feature Australian Idol runner-up Anthony Callia and the Australian Girls Choir. The Queen’s iconic 1954 Sir William Dargie painting will be the centerpiece of the service, surrounded by golden wattles, sweet peas and dahlias.

Albanese returned to Australia on Wednesday after representing Australia at the Queen’s funeral.

It will return to Parliament on Friday for a motion of condolence. Three more sittings from Monday September 26 to Wednesday September 28 will help make up for the days lost when Parliament was prorogued for two weeks following the Queen’s death.

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Independent Senator David Pocock will push for a sitting of parliament on Thursday 29 September to consider the right of territories to legislate euthanasia, paid domestic violence leave and the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

“While I appreciate the conventions we observe following the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, I believe Australians expect politicians to participate in Parliament’s work in debating and making laws on behalf of our communities and our constituents,” Pocock said.

On Monday, Albanese will travel to Japan for a memorial service for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, along with former prime ministers John Howard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles will again be acting prime minister.

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