Queen Elizabeth II will appoint the United Kingdom’s next prime minister at Balmoral rather than Buckingham Palace — a historic first for her 70-year reign.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said the outgoing leader Boris Johnson will travel to Scotland from London on September 6, followed by an audience with his successor. Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will be announced as leader of the Conservative Party on Monday 5 September. Johnson will then officially announce his resignation to the Queen the following day and the monarch will appoint the successor thereafter.
Queen to appoint new UK prime minister at Balmoral
This change in tradition will take place because of the Queen’s mobility issues. According to a statement from the Buckingham Palace, the Queen was going to interrupt her stay at Balmoral to meet the new prime minister which will be the 15th of her reign.
However, the Scotland location has been finalised for the meeting in order to prevent the need for any last-minute travel arrangements.
Usually, the outgoing prime minister makes a statement outside Downing Street before taking their final trip as leader to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace. The monarch then formally dismisses them from their role, reports BBC News.
Shortly after, the incoming prime minister is called up. The Queen’s audience with a new prime minister is one of her key roles as head of state. However, it doesn’t make any constitutional difference whether the meeting is in Balmoral or Buckingham Palace.
The monarch has been taking her traditional summer break in Scotland with family and guests. She usually stays at the estate from August to October. Apart from the ongoing mobility issues in recent months, the Queen had Covid in February this year.
Appointing the prime minister is one of the Queen’s key duties, one she wouldn’t delegate to her son and heir Prince Charles. Charles, 73, has been undertaking an increasing number of roles on the monarch’s behalf in recent months, writes People.
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