Liz Truss decision to accompany King Charles around Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland draws criticism
There has been criticism of a decision by the new Prime Minister Liz Truss to accompany King Charles on his tour of the UK, including to Wales on Friday.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman confirmed that Liz Truss was due to tour with Charles as he visits the parliaments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“In terms of the prime minister’s involvement, she will join the king as he leads the national mourning across the United Kingdom, attending services of reflection in Scotland on Monday afternoon, in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, and Wales on Friday,” the spokesman told Reuters.
On Friday, 16 September, The King and The Queen Consort will visit Wales, and are expected to visit the Welsh Parliament. Further details of this visit “will follow in due course”, the palace said.
But not everyone was happy with the announcement that Liz Truss would also be visiting, with concern that it might be seen to politicise the Royal Family.
Richard Murphy, a Professor at Sheffield University, suggested that it might set a dangerous new precedent under the new King and had “made this period of mourning political”.
“It could, of course, be argued that the King must act in consultation with ministers,” he said.
“But the message is deeply dangerous. First, it seeks to tie the Crown to the Tory party, which is threatening to the monarchy. Second, it makes the Crown political, and it should not be.
“I very much doubt the Queen would have been so unwise as to agree to a tour of the country with a new prime minister, herself deeply unpopular and desperate for publicity. Charles has agreed. That, to me, is a very bad sign, amongst many that are worrying.”
Gerry Hassan, Professor of Social Change at Glasgow Caladonian University, described it as the “first strategic mistake of Charles III”.
“The monarch is meant to be apolitical which of course is a fabrication,” he said. “But this associates the new King with the new PM. This might have some logic for Liz Truss but very little for Charles.”
Financial Times chief features writer Henry Mance also raised concerns about the decision.
“I can see how this helps Liz Truss. I cannot see how it helps King Charles,” he said.
“Let’s see what actually happens. But the well-wishing atmosphere seen outside the palace yesterday will be hard to recreate if a politician is present and meddling.”
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