Queen to break tradition by appointing next prime minister at Balmoral
The Queen will formally appoint Britain’s next prime minister at Balmoral next week rather than at Buckingham Palace in an historic first for her 70-year reign.
The palace has confirmed the 96-year-old monarch will not make the 1600-kilometre round trip from Scotland on Tuesday and instead the outgoing leader Boris Johnson will travel north from London, followed by his successor, which will be either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak.
Johnson will formally tender his resignation at the residence in Aberdeenshire, while the new Conservative leader will be decided the day earlier after more than a month of campaigning for the votes of more than 100,000 party members.
The traditional constitutional “kissing of the hands” ceremony was locked in at Balmoral to provide certainty to the prime minister’s diary and prevent a last-minute change of plans, a royal spokesman said.
The Queen has made another appearance as part of Royal Week in Scotland.
Buckingham Palace previously said she would interrupt her stay at Balmoral to meet the new prime minister – the 15th of her reign.
The monarch kissed hands with her first prime minister, Winston Churchill, in 1952 at Heathrow when she returned from Africa after her father King George VI died.
Every leader bar one has been appointed at Buckingham Palace since the reign of Queen Victoria, constitutional expert Professor Vernon Bogdanor told the BBC.