Nearly two months ago, Queen Elizabeth was reportedly in touch with Boris Johnson on the day he decided to resign from office as prime minister. The U.K.’s Conservative Party is set to announce a new leader on September 5, which means that Johnson and his successor will follow tradition and have a meeting with the queen once a winner is chosen. On Friday, the Sun reported that the meeting is likely to take place in Scotland, where the queen is still in residence at the Balmoral estate.
A source told the tabloid that the queen would try to avoid making a return to Buckingham Palace for the event due to her ongoing mobility issues. “The Queen has now been advised not to travel,” the source said. “It may not be the best choice to make the Queen travel 1,000 miles there and back for a 48-hour visit when the Prime Ministers can easily get to Balmoral instead.”
A wide field of competitors was narrowed down to two, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, over a succession of party votes in Parliament. Now, the approximately 160,000 fee-paying members of the Tory Party have the opportunity to weigh in, and the winner will become the prime minister and the transfer of power will happen in a meeting with Johnson and the queen.
Though Prince Charles has filled in for her more frequently since last fall, when the queen was briefly hospitalized, and even read a speech at the State Opening of Parliament in May, the queen is not considering sending him as a stand-in. “There are some parts of her role that Prince Charles can do on her behalf but the Queen is adamant that she appoints the Prime Minister,” the source told the Sun, adding that the final decision hasn’t yet been made. “Obviously no one tells the Queen what to do and ultimately it is her decision, and as we saw when she made a third appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the Jubilee she likes surprises.”
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