The Queen will have to interrupt her summer break to swear in the new Prime Minister once Theresa May steps down at the end of July, it has been revealed. Her Majesty typically stays at her Scottish residence Balmoral with the Duke of Edinburgh throughout the summer months, but will make the 500-mile journey back to the capital to allow the new PM to take office.
The winner of the Tory leadership contest is scheduled to be announced in the week of 22 July, with both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt competing for the role. That week, Theresa May will go to Buckingham Palace and have a final audience with the Queen, where she will effectively cease to be Prime Minister. The next leader will then meet the monarch and be asked whether they can form a government.
The Queen will return to London to swear in Theresa May's replacement
It is the second time the Queen’s diary has been interrupted by political events in recent years; in June 2017, Her Majesty presided over the State Opening of Parliament and delivered a stripped-back version of the Queen’s speech before attending Royal Ascot just two hours later.
The monarch is likely to only make a short return to the capital; by the time of her return, Buckingham Palace will already be hosting the Summer Opening of the State Rooms to members of the public, with a special exhibition about Queen Victoria running for ten weeks from 20 July until 29 September.
The Queen spends the summer holidays in Balmoral
Balmoral is said to be the Queen’s favourite royal residence, with her granddaughter Princess Eugenie revealing in 2017 that their time up in Scotland is spent enjoying "walks, picnics, dogs – there’s lots of dogs – and people coming in and out all the time".
Visitors throughout the summer holidays typically include the Queen’s children - Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward - while her grandchildren Prince William, Princess Beatrice and Zara Tindall all spent time at Balmoral in summer 2018, so it’s likely she can look forward to more family time in the next few weeks.
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