In a ceremony at Balmoral Castle, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Tuesday made the 47-year-old Liz Truss' appointment as Prime Minister official. Earlier in the day, the monarch had accepted Boris Johnson's resignation.
Truss, who had been named Conservative Party leader Monday, thus became the 15th head of government in the seven decades of Elizabeth's reign, and the 56th in British history since the post was created.
The third woman ever to hold the position of Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May, Truss returned to London right after the ceremony to take up residence in Downing Street and appoint her new cabinet.
Truss' flight landed in Aberdeenshire after circling the airport for 20 minutes due to heavy fog. She was escorted by her husband, Hugo O'Leary, to Balmoral Castle, where Buckingham Palace preferred to host the ceremony to spare the Queen the journey to London and minimize all risks that the monarch's recent mobility issues might affect the protocol. The monarch was using a walking stick throughout her meeting with Truss but still looked relaxed and as joyful as formalities allowed.
As dictated by tradition, the Queen had first met with Johnson, whose resignation she graciously accepted. Johnson had announced in July that he would step down following numerous public scandals.
According to the BBC, Johnson was to pass on the top-secret key codes for the control of nuclear missiles, which Truss has already admitted she would not hesitate to use if the time came.
Truss, 47, was elected to succeed Johnson after beating former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak once candidates were narrowed down to two as Britain goes through one of its worst economic crises in recent history, due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia's war in Ukraine and pressure on markets worldwide.
Inflation rose to an all-time high of more than 9% during August across much of Europe, while Britain's central bank raised interest rates to curtail rising energy costs sparked largely by Russia's war in Ukraine.
The new Prime Minister is expected to introduce a large package of energy reforms, which may include a strategy to freeze heating and cooling bills after Russia cut off its main gas pipeline to Europe last week.
The staunch Liberal Democratic Party militant at Oxford University in the early 1990s who once called for the monarchy to be abolished has shifted towards the Prime Minister closest to Thatcher that the UK might have had.
Earlier in the day and as he walked out the door of 10 Downing Street for the last time as head of government, Johnson insisted it was time for us to get behind Liz Truss and her team and her program and deliver for the people of this country.
“I am like one of those booster rockets that has fulfilled its function,’’ Johnson said before getting into a car. “I will now be gently re-entering the atmosphere and splashing down invisibly in some remote and obscure corner of the Pacific,” Johnson explained about his future.
Speaking to Conservative party members Monday, Truss promised to “deliver” on the economy, the energy crisis, and the overstretched health care system.