Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day: Arden reveals one-off national holiday

State Memorial Service will be televised and livestreamed

Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day: Arden reveals one-off national holiday

New Zealand has announced that September 26 will be a one-off public holiday to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The New Zealand government said legislation on "Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day" is expected to be passed next week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the holiday will give citizens the opportunity to come together and pay their respects to the Queen.

"Queen Elizabeth II was an extraordinary person and I know many New Zealanders will appreciate the opportunity to both mark her death and celebrate her life," said Ardern.

According to the government announcement, normal public holiday requirements under the Holiday's Act will apply on that day. In addition, the country will also mark the passing of the late Queen Elizabeth II with a State Memorial Service also on September 26.

"The State Memorial Service will be held in the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul on the same day, Monday 26 September, and will be televised and livestreamed," said Ardern.

"As New Zealand's Queen and much-loved Sovereign for over 70 years, it is appropriate that we mark her life of dedicated public service with a State Memorial Service and a one-off public holiday," she added.

Ardern further confirmed that she and Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro will represent New Zealand at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London on September 19.

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8 at the Balmoral Castle, Scotland, at the age of 96. She made 10 visits to New Zealand in the past, according to Ardern, including the "notable first tour" over the summer of 1953-54.

"She was here to celebrate with us at events such as the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games and the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games. She also mourned with us when we were hit by terrible tragedies such as the Tangiwai rail disaster and the February 2011 earthquake," said Ardern.

In her statement, the prime minister expressed the country's "deep sadness" at the Queen's passing.

"I know that I speak for people across New Zealand in offering our deepest sympathy to members of the Royal Family at the passing of the Queen. To us, she was a much-admired and respected monarch, to them she was a mother and grandmother," said Ardern.

"The Queen was a much-loved and admired monarch, whose record reign of 70 years is an absolute testament to her, and her commitment to us all. She was extraordinary."

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