Our Deputy Political Editor Dan Falvey has explained what happened behind the scenes after Liz Truss found out about the Queen’s health concerns this afternoon.
Mr Falvey reports: “Liz Truss had been Prime Minister for just two days hours when she was informed of the Queen’s “concerning” health deterioration.
She was in the House of Commons to unveil her emergency energy bills plan when Nadhim Zahawi, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, hurried in to brief her on the situation.
Her face was one of anguish as she listened to the news being whispered to her.It was just a few minutes later that she left the Chamber and returned to No10.
As the nation held its breath in the hours that followed, behind closed doors Ms Truss was personally focusing on writing a speech she hoped she would never have to deliver.At 4.30pm the Prime Minister was informed of the Queen’s death by the Cabinet Secretary.
An announcement to the country was made by the Palace almost two hours later.”We are all devastated by the news we have just heard from Balmoral,” Ms Truss said in her second address to the nation from the steps No10 in less than 48 hours.”Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. “Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her.”Ending her speech with the words “God save the King”, she went back indoors to speak to hold her first phone call with Britain’s new monarch.
The Government will now undertake ten days of mourning, with non-essential announcements and duties scrapped.
For the Prime Minister, planning on the accession of King Charles III has already begun.At 9pm tonight Ms Truss will convene ministers and Buckingham Palace representatives to discuss the days ahead.”