Queen Elizabeth May Appoint New Prime Minister in Scotland Rather Than London in Historic First

Alternative arrangements are reportedly being made so the Queen does not have to travel

Queen Elizabeth II stands on the balcony during on June 05, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952.
Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Frank Augstein - WPA Pool/Getty

In a historic first, Queen Elizabeth may stay at Balmoral Castle in Scotland rather than head to London for a major constitutional duty.

She is set to appoint a new Prime Minister once elections are held in early September. Usually, the ceremony is held at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle – something she was expecting to do when her summer holiday begun in late July.

But the 96-year-old monarch has been suffering from mobility issues that have curtailed her ability to carry out many of her official engagements since late last year, and contingency plans are reportedly being made for alternative arrangements.

The new Prime Minister – the Queen's 15th of her 70-year reign – will be chosen in an election of Conservative Party members early next month. Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are the contenders.

Under the plans, first reported by The Sun on Thursday, the winner and outgoing premier Boris Johnson would then head to Balmoral Castle for the ceremony. Johnson would formally tender his resignation, and the Queen would then appoint his successor. The Privy Council would also meet with the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth. Andrew Milligan/Pool/Getty

Buckingham Palace had no comment on Friday, but it is understood that a final decision will be made next week. Speaking to The Sun, a source said, "The Queen has now been advised not to travel. But 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 surprised."

It is one of her key duties, and one she wouldn't delegate to her son and heir Prince Charles. Charles, 73, has been undertaking an increasing number of roles on her behalf in recent months.

Although she met her first Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, when she stepped off the plane that brought her back from Kenya to Britain in 1952, all the others have gone to see her at the palace.

A general view of Balmoral Castle, which is one of the residences of the Royal family, and where Queen Elizabeth II traditionally spends the summer months.
Balmoral Castle. Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty

In summer 2019, when Theresa May was replaced by Johnson, the Queen made the 525-mile journey south from Balmoral for the ceremony.

The Queen has not been seen since she headed to Scotland in July. She initially stayed in a smaller residence on the 50,000 acre Balmoral estate, before moving into the Castle on August 8. While other members of the family, like Prince Charles, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex have been spotted going to the local Crathie Kirk for church services, the Queen has not been visible outside the castle gates.

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Traditionally, the royal family heads to Balmoral Castle to spend some time with the monarch alongside other members of the extended family during the time between July and October that she is in residence.

Prince William and Kate Middleton and their three children Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, have been staying with the Queen in recent days, while Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are not far away in their Scottish retreat Birkhall.

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