The Queen's role
The Queen is Head of State in the South Pacific country of Papua New Guinea where she is known as 'Missis Kwin' and 'Mama belong big family' in Tok Pisin - a creole language spoken throughout the 600-plus islands which make up this sovereign state. Her Majesty is supported in her role by other members of the Royal Family, who have visited the country many times during her reign, and who continue to celebrate and reward the achievements of its citizens
The Queen's relationship to Papua New Guinea is unique. In all her duties relating to Papua New Guinea , she speaks and acts as its Queen, and not as Queen of the United Kingdom. For day-to-day issues, she is represented by a Governor-General who carries out the duties of Head of State. Though she does not get involved in Government matters, Her Majesty continues to play an important symbolic role.
Unlike other Commonwealth realms (countries where The Queen is Head of State), the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea is nominated by the country's Parliament, rather than by its Prime Minister.
Papua New Guinea has had a steady stream of Royal visitors during The Queen's reign. The Duke of York officially opened the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea on behalf of Her Majesty, as well as visiting Commonwealth war graves in the country.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations were marked with a visit from The Prince of Wales, who spoke to crowds in Port Moresby in the pidgin language of Tok Pisin, referring to himself as 'namawan pikinini bilong misis kwinn' (the number one child of The Queen). He paid tribute to the 'extraordinary courage' of Papua New Guinea's Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels - who aided Australian troops during World War Two - and delivered greetings from The Queen:
Mi bringim bikpela tok hamamas bilong mejesti kwin Papua Niugini na olgeta haus lain bilong mi lon dispela taim bilong Diamon Jubili misis kwin. Mi tokpisin olrite?
I bring you greetings from Her Majesty the Queen of Papua New Guinea and from all my family members during this celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen. Was my Pisin correct?
The Prince of Wales, speaking in 2012
He went on to speak about The Queen's reign and her special relationship with Papua New Guinea, saying, 'This is a great day and a magnificent spectacle. We are gathered here to celebrate the Queen's 60 years of service to others. I know how honoured Her Majesty is to be your Queen, a title borne by her with immense pride and renewed by the people of this great country upon independence in 1975.'
His Royal Highness had also visited in 1984 when he opened the new Parliament House, and in 1975 when the country celebrated its independence.
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Princess Royal visited in 1974, and Her Majesty and His Royal Highness returned for the Silver Jubilee in 1977, arriving in the capital Port Moresby, and later visiting Pompondetta and Alotau. They returned again in 1982.
The Duke of Edinburgh visited the country early in The Queen's reign, during an extended Commonwealth tour in 1956/7.
The Queen's Young Leaders
In 2014 The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust launched a search for exceptional young people across the Commonwealth who are passionate about working with their communities to effect change. The winners receive a unique package of training and mentoring which will help them continue their excellent work in their home country.
The first Queen's Young Leaders were announced in 2015, and included John Taka from Papua New Guinea who set up 'Seeds of Hope' to help his rural community build new roads and start a potato-selling project to help pay for students’ school fees. John is also President of Spark PNG, which supports founders of social start-ups.
John will receive ongoing support from the Trust to help him and his community.