A palace spokeswoman announced on Wednesday that Queen Elizabeth II will appoint the new prime minister of the United Kingdom in Balmoral, her castle in Scotland where she is now staying, rather than at Buckingham Palace in London, for the first time in her 70-year reign.
Contrary British custom, the new PM and Boris Johnson will travel to Scotland for the occasion on September 6.
The Queen, 96, has met with her new prime minister at Buckingham Palace during her 70-year reign.
The 96-year-old queen’s health is reflected in the alteration to this ceremonial activity, known as “kissing hands,” and the decision was made in advance to account for the likelihood that she may encounter what the palace has described as an intermittent mobility impairment.
She is spending her traditional summer vacation in Balmoral, and thanks to the new plans, the future prime minister will be the one making the 1,000-mile round trip instead of the other way around.
Shortly after meeting with Johnson, the longest-reigning British monarch will have a meeting with the new ruler — either Foreign Secretary Liz Truss or former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, according to a representative for Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.
On September 5, the outcome of the race for the position of Conservative Party leader to succeed Johnson will be made public. According to polls, Truss is the undisputed front-runner.
According to rumours, having the new leader installed in Balmoral will provide the new prime minister’s calendar some assurance and prevent last-minute alterations in the event that the queen encounters mobility challenges.