These 2 Photos Were Taken Only 7 Weeks Apart

A lot has happened in Britain in the interim
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 25, 2022 10:35 AM CDT
These 2 Photos Are Only 7 Weeks Apart
A two-picture combo: Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, on Sept. 6. And on Tuesday, King Charles III welcomes Rishi Sunak, who was about to become prime minister.   (Jane Barlow, Aaron Chown/Pool photos via AP)

They're two photos taken exactly seven weeks apart, capturing the traditional and ceremonial rites of the monarch meeting the British prime minister-in-waiting to ask them to form a new government. They're also bookends, per the AP. Between the taking of the first and of the second, much elapsed, throwing a nation into mourning and then into an acute, turbulent economic crisis—tectonic shifts, one after the other, that many in the country had never experienced.

  • Queen Elizabeth II met incoming Prime Minister Liz Truss on Sept. 6. It was the last time the monarch was seen in an image by the public after her 70 years on the throne. Her reign had straddled two centuries, the aftermath of a world war, post-colonialism, Brexit, and a pandemic.
  • And now, after the queen's death and Truss' quick resignation, another photo: former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, now prime minister, pictured Tuesday shaking hands with King Charles III.

Britain is on its third leader this year, and the two most recent ones took the post without a direct mandate from the British people—they were elected leader of the Conservative Party and became prime minister automatically. There's a clamor among the opposition and beyond for a general election. By law, that doesn't have to be until 2024, and Sunak has said he won't call one—after the recent turmoil, his Tories face possible obliteration at the polls as it stands now. (Truss was anything but apologetic in her farewell speech.)

(More Rishi Sunak stories.)

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