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One of the few Australians to attend the Queen’s funeral makes heartbreaking confession about the service – and how it brought back a painful memory
- Danny Abdallah was one of ten Australian citizens to attend the Queen’s funeral
- Mr Abdallah lost three of his children and his niece in a car accident in Sydney in 2020
- He said the Queen’s funeral service reminded him of the funeral of his own children
- He said it was “an honor to be a part of history” and called the funeral “wonderful”
- The Queen’s Funeral: All the latest news and coverage about the royal family
Danny Abdallah said attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral reminded him of the deaths of his own children after they were hit by a drunk driver in a horror car accident.
On February 1, 2020, seven children from the Abdallah family were mowed down by a drunk driver on a Sydney footpath while on their way to buy ice cream.
Mr Abdallah and his wife Leila Abdallah lost three of their children – Sienna Abdallah, eight, and her siblings Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13 – as well as their 11-year-old niece Veronique Sakr in the collision, but the famous immediately forgave Mr Abdallah driver.
Danny Abdallah (pictured with wife Leila and their children) was invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday
The father and co-founder of the charity i4give Day was one of 10 Australian citizens invited to attend the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
“It was a wonderful experience and an honor to be a part of history,” he told the Herald Sun.
“I felt for the family and the grief and pain they will experience.
“I felt a little sad when I had to go back to my children’s funeral, but I do believe there is life after life.”
Abdallah was one of ten Australian citizens invited to the Queen’s funeral on Monday (above)
Abdallah said the Queen’s funeral reminded him of his own children’s funeral after being run over and killed by a drunk driver in Sydney two years ago (pictured, Mr and Mrs Abdallah at their children’s funeral)
The guest list also included Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon, Governor General David Hurley and his wife Linda, Acting High Commissioner Lynette Wood and her partner, and RSL President Greg Melick.
Australians of the Year Dylan Alcott, Valmai Dempsey, Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, Helen Milroy and Trudy Lin also received a coveted invitation.
The guest list represented Queen’s love of horses with Australian horse trainers David Hayes and Gai Waterhouse attending her funeral, along with racing identity Robbie Waterhouse.
A total of 22 Australians have been invited to the Queen’s funeral on Monday (Royal Family photo)
Local heroes Shanna Whan, Saba Abraham and Kim Smith also made the trip for Her Majesty’s funeral, along with Victoria Cross recipients Mark Donaldson, Daniel Keighran, Keith Payne and Ben Roberts-Smith.
Sober in the Country founder Shanna Whan said it was “overwhelming” to attend the funeral, but she was proud to represent Australia’s “rural space.”
“From the moment I heard the bagpipes, to Her Majesty’s coffin being passed by us, to the hymns, tears streamed down my cheeks,” she said.
Sober in the Country founder Shanna Whan (above) was invited to the funeral, wearing an Akubra-style hat as a modification for Australia’s ‘country space’
Ms Whan previously revealed that her Akubra-style hat was made at the last minute by Sydney custom designer Neil Grigg.
“I’m honestly so grateful I could cry, and I did. The community support coming out of Australia this week is indescribable,” she wrote after receiving the special hat.
‘This bush maid of basic resources and basic needs is a little overwhelmed. What I now know without a doubt is that between these hats and the designs of Carla Zampatti I can represent us with style and grace.’
Saba Abraham, who has helped employ more than 200 refugee and migrant women through her restaurant in Brisbane, said she felt “honoured” to be invited to the royal funeral.