The Queen Remains Silent as Prime Minister Boris Johnson Announces Resignation


The Queen Remains Silent as Prime Minister Boris Johnson Announces Resignation

Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on whether the Queen has had any form of communication with Prime Minister Boris Johnson since he announced his resignation on Thursday morning.

The Queen, who is at her home in Windsor Castle, held her weekly audience by telephone with Mr Johnson on Wednesday evening. He is said to have given her a courtesy call the following morning before announcing his decision to resign to the nation, although the palace would not confirm this.

Mr. Johnson is resigning as the Conservative leader later on Thursday, following a slew of ministerial resignations this week. He plans to continue his role until the autumn to allow a Tory leadership contest to take place in the summer, despite some Tory MPs calling for him to step down immediately.

Mr. Johnson will have to travel to the Queen to officially tender his resignation, usually after his successor has been appointed. This resignation audience usually takes place at Buckingham Palace but given the Queen’s age and mobility issues, and the timing of the leadership contest, if the sovereign is at her holiday home Balmoral over the summer, the audience could potentially take place in Scotland. 

Mr. Johnson is the Queen’s 14th Prime Minister during her reign. The monarch is politically neutral and acts on the advice of her government in political matters.

Although Mr. Johnson openly stated in his Parliamentary tribute to the Queen during her Jubilee year that his weekly meetings with the monarch were “immensely comforting because she has seen the sweep of it”.

His tenure hasn’t been without its controversy though. Mr. Johnson broke protocol twice when he publicly spoke about the pair’s private audiences, saying in November 2019 on the day Parliament was dissolved: “I’m just off to see Her Majesty the Queen, which is always a very tough interview because she always asks the best questions and the question today is: ‘Why are we having this election?'”


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