Queen Elizabeth ‘Most Accomplished Leader’: Former Australian PM

Queen Elizabeth ‘Most Accomplished Leader’: Former Australian PM
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard speaks at his final media conference for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 9, 2007. (Robb Cox/Getty Images)

Former Prime Minister John Howard has remembered the late Queen Elizabeth II as the most accomplished leader he dealt with during his long political career.

Howard, who met with the Queen on multiple occasions over 11 years as prime minister, paid tribute to the monarch’s sense of duty.

“(She was) a great leader, an impeccable constitutional monarch, somebody who had enormous affection for our country,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

“I’ve found her in so many ways the most accomplished leader I’ve dealt with in all my years in politics.”

The former prime minister said the late Queen was always well informed about events in Australia, describing the monarch as having a “wonderful sensitivity” towards countries in the Commonwealth.

“Whenever I saw her, she was across the recent political developments in Australia ... she would ask about them but not in a way that represented any kind of interference,” Mr Howard said.

“She was very familiar with things that we had done and things we'd achieved and the challenges the country had.”

Howard attended the funeral of the Queen Mother as prime minister in 2002, and said the Queen’s funeral on September 19 would be an “enormous occasion”.

“She’s the longest serving monarch by quite a number of years, so it’s an amazing event in the history of the United Kingdom and a big event, too, in the history of countries like Australia,” he said.

“There’s probably been a bit of preparation already put into it, but the thing to remember is, most of all, is that we honour somebody today and in the days and weeks ahead who was faithful to us.”