Liz Truss met with the Queen today as she becomes the new Prime Minister of the UK. She beat Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership race with 57 percent of the vote – a victory narrower than some had anticipated earlier in the race. One subject that came up throughout the contest was Ms Truss’ previous comments about the Royal Family. Today, ITV News shared an archive clip of one of their reports from the 1994 Liberal Democrat party conference.
In it, a young Ms Truss speaks critically of the monarchy, branding their hereditary status as “disgraceful.”
She said at the time: “I’m not against any of them personally, I’m against the idea that people can be born to rule, that people because of the family they are born in should be able to be the head of state.
“I think that’s disgraceful.”
Ms Truss has spoken openly in recent weeks about her previous allegiance to the Lib Dems and the republican views she held in her younger days.
At the 1994 Lib Dem conference, she gave a speech about the monarchy, saying: “We Liberal Democrats believe in opportunity for all.
“I was being interviewed by Newsnight earlier this afternoon and we were filmed asking members of the public what they thought about the Monarchy.
“We came across a group of three people. I’d say they were around 50, 60 [years of age]. [They] looked fairly middle class, rather smart and in fact rather reactionary to be perfectly frank.
“We asked them they’re opinion of the Monarch, do you know what they said? They said: ‘Abolish them. We’ve had enough.'”
It’s safe to say Ms Truss’ views have changed on a number of issues since she was a student.
She is now the leader of the Conservative Party, and the former Foreign Secretary now describes herself as a supporter of the Royal Family.
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Asked by reporters in July about when she changed her views on the monarchy, Ms Truss said: “Almost immediately after I’d made that speech.
“I was a teenager at the time and I do believe that people who never change their mind on anything and think the same at 16 as they do at 46 are, well, first of all they’re not normal people like I am, and secondly, you know,
“I’ve got the ability to learn from mistakes I’ve made, things that I’ve done that are wrong and move on.”
During the leadership race, the BBC’s Nick Robinson also asked Ms Truss about her views of the monarchy.
She said: “I think it’s fair to say that when I was in my youth I was a professional controversialist and I liked exploring ideas and stirring things up.
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“And I came from a left-wing background as I said my mother was in the campaign for nuclear disarmament.
“There are very few people at my school or who I met on a regular basis in fact, I could count them on one hand who you’d describe as right-wing.
“So I thought at the time, this is a totally different way of life, it doesn’t represent the type of society I want to live in.
“And I began to understand more about why Britain is successful and part of our success is the constitutional monarchy that supports a free democracy.”