Queen to appoint new prime minister at Balmoral

The Queen and Mr. Johnson at the G7 summit in Cornwall – Andrew Parsons / No. 10 Downing Street

The Queen will meet the new prime minister at Balmoral next week for the first time in her reign, Buckingham Palace said.

The 96-year-old monarch, who has faced ongoing mobility issues, traditionally holds audiences with outgoing and incoming prime ministers at Buckingham Palace.

But Mr Johnson, who will tender his resignation, and the new Conservative Party leader – either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak – who will be asked to form a government, will travel to Balmoral for the key audiences on Tuesday September 6 instead.

It is understood that the decision was taken at this stage in order to provide certainty for the Prime Minister’s diary.

If the Queen had experienced an episodic mobility issue next week and the plan had been to travel to London or Windsor, it would have led to alternative arrangements being implemented at the last minute.

The Queen is currently on her traditional summer break in the Scottish Highlands, where she typically stays for three months from July to September.

Balmoral - Andrew Milligan/PA

Balmoral – Andrew Milligan/PA

The Prince of Wales has reportedly been making regular morning visits to see his mother as she continues to struggle with her mobility, with the unplanned visits considered highly unusual.

During her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Queen only traveled to Buckingham Palace twice, first for her Trooping the Color balcony appearance, and secondly for a finale after the pageant.

She spends most of her time at Windsor Castle, 22 miles from central London, living there during the pandemic and while major renovations take place at Buckingham Palace.

As head of state, it is the Queen’s duty to appoint the prime minister who leads Her Majesty’s Government.

The Royal Encyclopedia states that the appointment of a prime minister is “one of the few remaining personal prerogatives of the sovereign”.

The monarch does not act on advice nor need to consult anyone before calling upon the leader with an overall majority of seats in the House of Commons to form a government.

There is expected to be a virtual Privy Council meeting the day after the new prime minister meets the Queen.

After a new PM has been appointed, the Court Circular will record that “the Prime Minister kissed hands on appointment”.

This is not literally the case, and it is usually a handshake.

Leave a Comment