“The Prime Minister is not ‘accompanying’ the king and this is not a ‘tour’. She will simply attend the ceremonies”, indicated Downing street, in the face of the growing controversy accusing Liz Truss of wanting to pull a political advantage of the occasion.
The day before, Downing Street had indicated that Ms. Truss, appointed Prime Minister only on Tuesday by Elizabeth II, “will (join) the king when he leads national mourning across the United Kingdom, by attending ceremonies of meditation” in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
This idea “raised some eyebrows”, said the Guardian, in the face of suspicions that the Prime Minister is taking the opportunity to put herself forward.
“I can see how it helps Liz Truss. I don’t see how it helps King Charles,” Financial Times reporter Henry Mance added. “The atmosphere of benevolence seen outside the palace yesterday will be difficult to recreate if a politician is present and meddles in everything,” he added.
The Prime Minister’s teams have been working to quell the budding controversy. “It is not an obligation. But the Prime Minister considers it important to be present for what will be an important moment of national mourning throughout the United Kingdom,” said Downing Street.
The new king must go to each of the four nations that make up the country following the death of his mother.
Charles III must first attend a ceremony of “prayers and meditation” on Monday at Saint-Gilles Cathedral in Edinburgh, where the remains of the Queen, who died Thursday at her Scottish residence in Balmoral, will be transported.
The new king will then travel to Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, on Tuesday for a similar ceremony at St. Anne’s Cathedral. He will finally travel to Wales on Friday.