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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Liz Truss becomes Britain’s Prime Minister after meeting Queen

Liz Truss delivered her first speech as Britain’s prime minister outside 10 Downing Street in London on Tuesday.

By Mark Landler

Liz Truss became Britain’s prime minister after midday Tuesday, when Queen Elizabeth II invited her to form a government, a day after Truss was confirmed as the new leader of the Conservative Party.

The transfer of power from the outgoing prime minister, Boris Johnson, was accomplished in time-honored fashion, in a pair of back-to-back meetings with the monarch, though the setting was unusual: Balmoral Castle, a sprawling estate in the Scottish countryside where the queen spends much of the summer.

Johnson was the first to arrive at the castle door at 11:15 a.m., with his wife, Carrie. He submitted his resignation to the queen in the drawing room shortly afterward. Truss arrived about an hour later, accompanied by her husband, Hugh O’Leary, to become the 15th prime minister to meet with the monarch (her first was Winston Churchill).

The meetings were held at Balmoral, rather than at Buckingham Palace, as is the usual custom, because the 96-year-old queen is suffering problems with her mobility and was advised by her doctors not to travel to London. In a photo released by the palace, a smiling queen greeted Truss, holding a walking stick.

It was the first time in her 70-year reign that Queen Elizabeth welcomed a new prime minister outside Buckingham Palace, and the first time any prime minister was anointed at Balmoral since 1885, when Queen Victoria summoned Lord Salisbury there to ask him to form a government.

After the meeting ended just before 1 p.m., Truss flew back to London, where she is scheduled to address the nation from Downing Street in the late afternoon.

She is expected to offer the first road map as prime minister of how she plans to respond to a deepening economic and energy crisis. She may also announce the first appointments to her Cabinet, which analysts will scrutinize for signs of whether she will reach out to try to unify a divided Conservative Party.

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