Queen to break tradition by appointing PM at Balmoral

Every leader bar one has been appointed at Buckingham Palace since the reign of Queen Victoria, constitutional expert Professor Vernon Bogdanor told the BBC.

The only exception was in 1908, when Herbert Henry Asquith travelled to meet Edward VII in the French city of Biarritz while the king was holidaying.

Either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will be Britain’s next PM.

Either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will be Britain’s next PM.Credit:Getty

The Queen, who has battled “episodic mobility issues” for almost a year, arrived in Scotland last month for her 10-week holiday and had hoped to make the journey south to appoint the new prime minister. Windsor Castle had been earmarked as the venue.

Appointing a new prime minister is one of the Queen’s core ceremonial responsibilities as head of state. She was forced to hand over responsibility of another earlier in the year when Princes Charles and Prince William took centre stage at the state opening of parliament. It was the first time the Queen had missed the event in 59 years.


Her health issues, which she has faced for nearly a year since a brief hospital stay last October, have hampered other occasions, too, including her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

She also contracted COVID-19 back in February, and later spoke about how it left her feeling “very tired and exhausted”.

Several events over the past 12 months have been modified for the Queen’s comfort, including her arrival at Balmoral Castle earlier this month.

The moment is traditionally marked by guard of honour at the gates of the 20,000-acre estate, but this year’s inspection of the troops was held privately. She now regularly uses a walking stick at public events.

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