Queen Elizabeth II: Liz Truss pays tribute to the monarch
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The Queen’s death in the same week as Ms Truss took up the mantle of Prime Minister gives the new Conservative leader “two conundrums”, a think tank has told Express.co.uk. The past week has provided a change in leadership at both a political and monarchical level.
As Liz Truss takes over as Prime Minister from Boris Johnson, the change in the head of state from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III presents Ms Truss with two quandaries, Joseph Robertson, director of the Orthodox Conservatives think tank, has told Express.co.uk.
It at once “stymies the progress she’s already been making and the changes we’ve already been seeing in Government”, but it “also gives her the opportunity to rewrite that narrative of her as a republican”, Mr Robertson has argued.
Since the Prime Minister moved into Number 10, videos have resurfaced online showing a young Liz Truss criticising the monarchy.
Back in 1994, she said in a speech to the Liberal Democrat conference: “We do not believe people should be born to rule.”
Earlier this year, she said she changed her viewed on the Royal Family “almost immediately after I’d made that speech”.
She added: “I’ve got the ability to learn from mistakes I’ve made, things that I’ve done that are wrong and move on.”
Mr Robertson argued to Express.co.uk that now “is actually a time for her to draw closer to the nation in their appreciation of the Royal Family” which would “show her ability to adapt her own politics”.
He continued: “I think what we are seeing is a potential strengthening of those policies she wishes to enforce at the moment.
“The nation will want to be united.
“It will want a leader that’s resolute, and besides the obvious mourning phase […], I believe she will have the opportunity to be a resolute and bold Conservative leader who sees the value of monarchy and all the benefits it brings.”
On September 6, former Conservative leader Boris Johnson travelled alongside Ms Truss to the Queen’s Aberdeenshire estate to formally resign his position.
Shortly after meeting with Mr Johnson, the monarch, who is pictured smiling but with a walking aid, requested that Ms Truss form a Government in her name.
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The Prime Minister travelled to Balmoral to meet the Queen after arrangements for the monarch to travel to London were altered.
The pictures of the Prime Minister shaking hands with the Queen came a matter of days before the announcement of her death on Thursday, September 8.
Mr Robertson called the photographs – among the last known to have been taken of the Queen before her death – a “historically poignant moment”.
Being featured in the final images of the sovereign also confers on the Prime Minister an expectation “she needs to live up to”, he added.
Mr Robertson explained: “The fact that the last picture we have of the Queen is poignantly with Liz is a massive historical moment for many people.
“It shows only the [third] head of Government who is a female meeting with the longest-reigning monarch, who is also a female – there are many other narratives to be pulled from that photo.”
He continued: “It is a historically poignant moment and now something she needs to live up to by giving people what they need and deserve, and fulfilling what would have been expected of her by the monarch.”
In the wake of the news, Ms Truss paid tribute to the late Queen as the “rock on which modern Britain was built”.
She said: “On behalf of a grieving nation I offer my deepest condolences on the passing of Her Majesty.
“She was the rock on which modern Britain was built.
“The thoughts of this Government and this nation are with His Majesty The King and his family.”
The day after the announcement of the late monarch’s death, the Prime Minister was photographed meeting King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.
She is also embarking on the four-nation tour being undertaken by King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday.
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