Liz Truss has taken office as British prime minister after meeting Queen Elizabeth II for a ceremonial transfer of power showcasing centuries of tradition.
Boris Johnson formally offered his resignation to the queen at Balmoral, her castle in Scotland, after delivering a farewell address outside his Downing Street office early on Tuesday.
Truss, who was announced as the leader of the ruling Conservative Party a day earlier, is now the 15th leader of the queen’s reign and the country’s third female prime minister. She was formally appointed during her own subsequent audience with the monarch.
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This was the first time in the queen’s 70-year reign that the handover of power took place at her summer retreat, rather than at Buckingham Palace in London.
The ceremony, known as “kissing hands,” was moved to Scotland to provide certainty about the schedule because of the 96-year-old’s mobility problems.
Truss, 47, takes office a day after the Conservative Party’s 172,000 members elected her to lead their party.
She disclosed that her priority is cutting taxes and slashing regulations to fuel economic growth.
After winning the race to succeed Johnson, Truss promised to “deliver” on the economy, the energy crisis, and the country’s overstretched health care system, though she offered few specifics on her policies.
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The first task for Truss will be to appoint a Cabinet to tackle the government’s mountain of challenges as she will face multiple foreign policy crises, including the war in Ukraine and frosty post-Brexit relations with the European Union.
As foreign secretary, Truss was a firm supporter of Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion, and as prime minister, she will continue the U.K.’s civilian and military support for Kyiv.
She has said her first phone call with a world leader will be to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.