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The BBC's Jennie Bond
"A sense of even greater vigilance around the Queen this morning"
 real 28k

Monday, 20 March, 2000, 16:54 GMT
Queen overcomes security scare
walkabout
The Queen goes on a Sydney walkabout despite pouring rain
The Queen will continue her Australia visit as normal, despite a security alert in which an armed man was arrested.

Security is not being stepped up as a result and her itinerary has not altered, Buckingham Palace officials say.

They have described the breach as a minor one and said it demonstrated security around the Queen was effective.

Gregory Pailthorpe, from Earlwood, Sydney, was arrested with an eight-inch kitchen knife strapped to his leg and what was described as a small improvised explosive device in his backpack.

He had been arrested at a venue where the Queen was due to arrive.

He has been charged with unlawful possession of a knife and of cannabis and was remanded to a psychiatric hospital after making a brief appearance in court. He will undergo psychiatric tests.


queen speech
The Queen pledges to continue serving Australians
Mr Pailthorpe was wrestled to the ground by police at Sydney's Darling Harbour Convention Centre, after he was seen acting suspiciously.

He tried to get past the police by telling them he was a member of the SAS.

On Tuesday, day two of her official tour, the Queen will be visiting a children's hospital in Sydney and seeing the city's Olympic Games preparations.

Sydney will host the games in the summer and the Queen will look around the impressive superdrome and the Olympic village.

Canberra banquet

On Wednesday, she will leave Sydney and visit a primary school and Aboriginal radio station in Bourke before heading to Canberra for a state banquet.

She was given an enthusiastic reception at her official welcome on Monday, by an estimated 3,000 well-wishers on the steps of Sydney Opera House despite pouring rain.



It is my duty to seek to remain true to the interests of Australia and all Australians as we enter the 21st Century

The Queen
Then in a major constitutional speech, she reaffirmed her pledge to serve as Queen of Australia for as long as the Australians want her.

She made no reference to the security alert.

She said: "It is my duty to seek to remain true to the interests of Australia and all Australians as we enter the 21st Century."

It is her first visit to Australia in eight years.

The Queen said she respected the outcome of November's referendum to keep her as head of state.


Gregory Pailthorpe
Gregory Pailthorpe was arrested with a kitchen knife on his leg
She said: "I have always made it clear that the future of the monarchy in Australia is an issue for you, the Australian people, and you alone to decide by democratic and constitutional means. It should not be otherwise.

"In the light of the result last November, I shall continue faithfully to serve as Queen of Australia under the Constitution to the very best of my ability, as I have tried to do for these past 48 years.

"That is my duty. It is also my privilege and my pleasure."

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See also:

19 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Didgeridoo serenade for Queen
01 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
The birth of republicanism
02 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Queen or country?
20 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Q & A: Security alert on Queen's tour
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