Queen sees days as Australian head numbered

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The Independent Online

The Queen has acknowledge that her days as Austraila's ruler may be numbered.

Ignoring the security alert which threatened to upset Her Majesty's thirteenth official visit to Australia, the Queen accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip made the remarks in recognition of the nation's rising tide of nationalism, at a state lunch in Sydney.

"I shall continue faithfully to serve as Queen of Australia to the very best of my ability," she said.

In her speech, she appeared to acknowledge that her days as Australia's ruler may be numbered.

"Whatever the future may bring, my lasting respect and deep affection for Australia and Australians everywhere will remain as strong as ever," she said.

Meanwhile, the man arrested by police with an eight-inch kitchen knife strapped to his leg as he tried to talk his way into a convention centre where the Queen had lunch is to undergo psychiatric assessment.

Police said that a small box with wires coming out that was also found on unemployed Sydney man Gregory Philip Pailthorpe "was clearly not an explosive device."

Pailthorpe, 39, told police he was from the elite Special Air Services as he tried to get through their security cordon. They arrested him because he "looked suspicious," police superintendent Donald Graham said.

"I think this person certainly would have presented a risk to the security protection team today," he said.

Pailthorpe appeared in Central Local Court charged with unlawfully carrying a knife in a public place and cannabis possession.

Magistrate Kim Pogson ordered him to undergo a psychiatric assessment before reappearing in court on Tuesday.

The suspect's lawyer, Simon Bleasel, told the court Pailthorpe, who intended to plead guilty to the charges, did not intend to harm the Queen.

"His intention was protecting the Queen at all times, not harming her in any way," Bleasel said. He also told the court Pailthorpe suffers from a bad nervous disorder which requires medication. He did not elaborate.

Later in the day, the queen had a brief private meeting with Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation chairwoman Evelyn Scott in Canberra.

Scott is leading the body trying to forge an agreement between Australia's native inhabitants and the government on past mistreatment of Aboriginals.