Australian Doctor Talks Queen Elizabeth II’s Legacy and 'Honor' of Being Invited to Her Funeral (Exclusive)

Queen Elizabeth
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ET spoke to Dr. Trudy Lin ahead of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral Monday.

Mourners, guests and dignitaries alike are gathering to honor the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her funeral Monday. ET's Kevin Frazier is on the ground in London, where he spoke to Dr. Trudy Lin, of Adelaide, Australia -- one of 10 Australians invited to the Queen's funeral -- about Her Majesty's legacy and the special honor.

"It means so much," Dr. Lin gushed. "I don't know if there's any words that can adequately describe just how humbling and how much of an honor it is to be here, especially because the Queen was such a personal role model for me, because she was such a great example of commitment to the community and service and dedication over so many decades of her life, starting from a really young age, all the way until her last days."

Dr. Lin knows a thing or two about service and dedication as well, using her work as a dentist, to provide dental services to those with disabilities and complex medical issues like cancer. Lin is one of 25 dentists in Australia who perform special needs dentistry -- a service that earned her an invite to the Queen's funeral.

"Not only does oral health affect people's quality of life, but also the length of their life, because Australians with an intellectual disability -- they die 20 years younger than the general population," Dr. Lin explained. "And the leading cause of their premature death is a lung disease caused by inhaling dental plaque."

She continued, "I don't want people to be dying from something that's so preventable. And that's why, this honor of being invited to the Queen's funeral means so much more than just to me, personally, as an individual, but for me as a representative of all of the specialists that are looking at trying to create this equitable access to oral healthcare that every person deserves."

Dr. Lin, who was named 2022's South Australia's Young Australian of the Year, told ET that she got the invite to the Queen's funeral following a conference in Paris.

"I had been presenting at a conference in Paris and was on my way back to Adelaide, which is home in South Australia," Dr. Lin said. "I was in the Melbourne airport, and I received a phone call from the prime minister's office, and they said the prime minister has requested that you accompany him to attend the Queen's funeral in London."

She admittedly questioned if the invite was real before accepting, adding that after processing it a bit, she marveled at the magnitude of the honor, and the Queen's inclusion of everyday Australians in her funeral proceedings.

"There was a lot of disbelief," she shared. "I actually wondered if it was real, and then after processing a little bit -- the first thought, 'Wow, how extraordinary it is, that Her Majesty's legacy includes including ordinary, everyday Australians to attend her funeral.'"

As far as what Dr. Lin thinks about the Queen requesting everyday citizens of the Commonwealth to be in attendance at her funeral, the lauded dentist said it's a testament to the late monarch's compassion, not only for the community, but for the many charitable causes she both championed and supported.

"I think that's just a testament to just how compassionate she was, and how much she cared about the community and their needs," Dr. Lin maintained. "And the fact that she was a patron to a lot of different charitable causes that looked at trying to create this equitable inclusion for the most vulnerable in our population, so, I'm very touched and humble to be one of the selected to be able to attend."

Queen Elizabeth's funeral is set l is set to begin at 11:00 a.m. local time Monday, with events starting at 6:30 a.m., when the doors of Westminster Hall are set to close in preparation for the coffin's procession. The funeral will be attended by everyday citizens like Dr. Lin, the royal family and a host of public leaders and dignitaries, including President Joe Biden, as well as leaders from Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Kenya. 

For updates on Queen Elizabeth's death and her upcoming funeral, check out ET's ongoing coverage here.