Liz Truss's Relationship With The Royal Family Explained

On October 20, 2022, Liz Truss announced her shocking resignation, making history as the UK's shortest-serving prime minister, having spent only 45 days in office. "I recognize though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party," she stated in part in front of 10 Downing Street (via CNN). "I have therefore spoken to His Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party."

With a six-week tenure that was rocked by criticism over a slew of apparent mistakes and arguably resulted in a pretty epic leadership failure, as it was dubbed by The Times, Truss's government admittedly started on a rocky note. First, there was the introduction of the mini-budget, a move that was followed by the pound dropping against the dollar to what was considered a historic low, as reported by The Guardian. And then in a bid to right her wrongs, Truss fired her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, replacing him with Jeremy Hunt, per The Sun. Only a few days later, Home Secretary Suella Braverman was forced to resign after accidentally leaking classified government information. At this point, Truss was facing heat from other members of Parliament, including those within her party.

Yet, amid brewing chaos within the UK government, the monarchy remained seemingly unfazed by the troubles brought by Truss's administration. And while she might have struggled to get along with Parliament, Prime Minister Lizz Truss appeared to have cemented a relationship with the British royal family

The late Queen Elizabeth welcomed Liz Truss to office

On September 6, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II officially appointed Liz Truss as prime minister after a historic kissing hands ceremony at the Balmoral Estate — the first ever to happen outside the walls of Buckingham Palace. "The Queen received Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle today," the royal family shared in an Instagram post. "Her Majesty asked her to form a new Administration. Ms. Truss accepted Her Majesty's offer and was appointed Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury."

Per Royal Central, though the kissing hands ceremony once required the prime minister to kiss the monarch's hand as a show of loyalty, in recent years, no actual kissing of hands has taken place. During her 70-year reign, 15 prime ministers — including Margaret Thatcher and Truss's predecessor Boris Johnson — served under the queen, with Winston Churchill being the first and Truss being her last. In addition to being Queen Elizabeth's final prime minister, Truss's kissing hands ceremony was also the last official royal duty the queen carried out

On September 8, only two days after her meeting with Truss, Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96. "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," an official statement from the royal family read. "The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow." 

She was informed of the queen's death before Prince Harry

Tension understandably rose among royal fans around the world on September 8, 2022, when Buckingham Palace initially released a statement telling the public of Queen Elizabeth II's failing health. "Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision," the statement read, as reported by People. "The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral." The queen would pass away only a few hours later.

Though it was not until 6:30 pm in the UK that news of her death was officially released, Scottish Daily Express reported Queen Elizabeth's time of death as 3:10 pm — over three hours before the public was informed. The queen's oldest kids, King Charles III and Princess Anne, were among the first set of people to know of the queen's demise as they were reportedly present in her final moments. Per the outlet, Prime Minister Liz Truss was informed of the queen's death at 4:30 pm — a little over an hour after she passed.

Other senior royals, including Queen Elizabeth's youngest kids, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, learned of their mother's death while on their way to join Charles and Anne at the Balmoral Estate. However, according to The Telegraph, Charles apparently alerted youngest son Prince Harry — who, of course, famously stepped down as a senior royal in 2020 alongside wife Meghan Markle — of the queen's passing at about 6:25 pm, five minutes before it was confirmed to the rest of the world.

Liz Truss played an important role at the queen's funeral

Once news of Queen Elizabeth II's death was announced, tributes poured out from world leaders who had met or worked with the late monarch — including Liz Truss. "The death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world," the prime minister said in part in a statement. "... We will come together with our friends across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and the world to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service."

And celebrate her, they did. Following her death, the UK declared a 10-day mourning period, ending with a state funeral, per People. The televised event, held on September 19, 2022, had in attendance Truss, the President of the United States Joe Biden, and several other leaders from across the globe. But not only did Truss attend, she also played an important role. According to Yahoo! Life, Truss read a Bible prayer passage from the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John at the funeral, starting from Verse 1 through to Verse 9. "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God," she began. "... If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." 

She met with King Charles every week

As stated by the royal family's website, the British monarch holds a private weekly meeting with the prime minister, during which some of the political happenings in the country are discussed. Though the sovereign is required to maintain political neutrality, the website mentions the monarch's right to "advise and warn" the prime minister, if necessary. Upon accession, King Charles III continued this tradition with Liz Truss.

On October 12, 2022, Truss had her first weekly audience with the king, a meeting that seemingly started on a rather awkward note. In an ITV News video shared on Twitter, the prime minister was shown arriving at the meeting room, curtsying and shaking Charles' hand while addressing him as "Your Majesty." For his part, the king could be heard muttering, "So you've come back again, dear oh dear." 

Though the exchange set off alleged narratives about Charles not liking Truss or perhaps not being too keen about the meeting itself, as well as the imminent strained relationship that they would seemingly have, BBC News later clarified the king's comments to have been a sign of sympathy rather than dismissal. Per the outlet, Truss had been to the palace mere hours earlier and was making her second visit when the clip was captured.

King Charles took Liz Truss's advice

Liz Truss did not rule quite as long as her predecessor, but it was apparently long enough to make an impression on King Charles III. So much so that before her resignation, the monarch was taking advice from Truss. In early October 2022, The Times reported that on Truss's suggestion during one of their private meetings, Charles would not be attending the 27th UN climate change conference in Egypt that November, where he'd been expected to deliver a speech. "With mutual friendship and respect there was agreement that the King would not attend," Buckingham Palace later confirmed, per BBC News.

As the ceremonial head of state, a serving monarch will throughout their reign rely on advice from their prime ministers — advice that is expected to be accepted, according to The Guardian. During her 70-year reign, for example, Queen Elizabeth II notably took advice from several of her prime ministers, including Harold Macmillan, Tony Blair, and of course, her very first, Winston Churchill. 

Liz Truss once called for the monarchy to be abolished

This is admittedly not your everyday fun fact, but it turns out that Prime Minister Liz Truss was not always the biggest fan of the British royal family. In fact, she once called for an end to The Firm. Amid her appointment as prime minister in September 2022, a clip of a younger Truss advocating for the abolishment of the monarchy surfaced, leading people to question her position today. "We Liberal Democrats believe in opportunity for all," Truss, only 19 at the time, said (via the Independent). "We believe in fairness and common sense. We believe in referenda on major constitutional issues. We do not believe that people should be born to rule or that they should put up and shut up about decisions that affect their everyday lives." 

In 1996, only two years after the video was taken, Truss transitioned from a liberal democrat to a conservative — the party that would eventually vote her prime minister. Expectedly, over the years, Truss evolved, as did her views. This, she confirmed, to Sky News in August 2022. "I've already met the Queen and she's been far too polite to raise that issue with me," she said, per Yahoo! News. "... Well, I was wrong to say what I did at the time." 

Only six weeks in office, and yet a seemingly long history with the UK and the royal family; Liz Truss is clearly one to leave her mark everywhere she goes.