UNITED KINGDOM: Given to mobility issues, Queen Elizabeth will break with tradition and appointed the new British Prime Minister at her residence at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, rather than Buckingham Palace in London.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said on Wednesday that the Queen will meet outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his successor at Balmoral, where he spends his years, on September 6.
Johnson was forced to resign in July after dozens of ministers left the government in protest at his scandal-ridden premiership.
The 96-year-old monarch will have an audience with Britain’s new leader – either Foreign Secretary Liz Truss or former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak shortly after meeting Johnson, a spokeswoman said.
The result of the Conservative Party leadership contest to succeed Johnson will be announced on September 5, with polls showing Truss the clear front-runner.
Appointing a new leader at Balmoral will provide certainty for the new prime minister’s diary and avoid last-minute changes should the Queen experience mobility issues, a palace source said.
Queen Elizabeth, who has had 14 prime ministers, has had to curtail her public appearances in recent months due to similar problems and also spent a night in the hospital last October with an unspecified illness.
“We will certainly make sure that the handover arrangements are completely suited to her and whatever she wants,” Johnson told Sky News.
As head of state, Britain’s monarch traditionally appoints a new prime minister after an audience at Buckingham Palace, part of today’s spectacle as television cameras and helicopters follow official cars arriving in the palace grounds.
Every British leader has been appointed at Buckingham Palace since Queen Victoria’s reign except on one occasion, the BBC reported, citing constitutional expert Vernon Bogdanor.
In June, the Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace alongside her family to wave to cheering crowds at a celebration to mark her record 70 years on the British throne.
Her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, spoke on her behalf at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last month.