It’s clear the Queen was determined to still carry out one of her most significant constitutional duties. She appeared happy and well in a series of photographs documenting the significant meeting between the pair.
But what really happened during the exchange, which took place in the homely Drawing Room at Balmoral?
Liz was then officially appointed in a historic ceremony – a tradition called ‘kissing hands’.
The new PM was appointed in a tradition called ‘kissing hands’
The kissing hands are, at this point, merely a symbolic gesture – today, simply being received by the Queen is taken to validate the selection. But at one point in history, the prime minister was actually required to kiss the monarch’s hand to show their loyalty to the sovereign and the crown.
In his autobiography, Tony Blair – who was operating on only one hour’s sleep following his election victory – admitted to being a bit confused when a royal official told him, “You don’t actually kiss the Queen’s hands in the ceremony of kissing hands. You brush them gently with your lips.”
Liz is the 15th prime minister of the Queen’s seven-decade reign
“What on earth did he mean?” Mr. Blair added. “Brush them as in a pair of shoes, or touch them lightly? While I was still temporarily disconcerted, the door opened and I was ushered in, unfortunately tripping a little on a piece of carpet so that I practically fell upon the Queen’s hands, not so much brushing as enveloping them.”
In a statement following the meeting, Buckingham Palace confirmed: “The Queen received in audience The Right Honourable Elizabeth Truss MP today and requested her to form a new administration.
“Ms. Truss accepted Her Majesty’s offer and kissed hands upon her appointment as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury.”