Queen Elizabeth and her Prime Ministers

After the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Queen Elizabeth is expected to welcome a 15th head of government.

the essentials in brief

  • Boris Johnson resigns as UK Prime Minister.
  • So that we can welcome the Queen to a 15th head of government.
  • She did not always have a good relationship with some of her predecessors.

Boris Johnson (58) will no longer be in office as Prime Minister of Great Britain in a few weeks. After numerous escapades – including parties during the Corona lockdown – the conservative politician increasingly lost the support of his government. As a result, Johnson resigned as leader of the Conservative Party on Thursday and will step down as prime minister once a new Tory leader is elected.

This means that Queen Elizabeth II (96) will most likely serve as a 15th prime minister later this year and will report to her as British head of state at Buckingham Palace. Although the Queen only represents the country according to the constitution and has no political power, the joint appointments are still a touchstone for the head of government – after all, she did not always have a good connection to some of her predecessors. Not even to Boris Johnson. An overview.

Winston Churchill (1951-1955)

Winston Churchill may have been the Queen’s favorite prime minister. The legendary politician initially had serious doubts about the ability and political acumen of the queen, who was only 25 years old when she ascended the throne. That settled down quickly. He taught her that the size of an achievement can also be measured by the size of the personal sacrifice.

Churchill is said to have explained the world to the young monarch. It is said that the 51-year-old politician is said to have even fallen a little in love with his queen. After all, he gave her the tip that particularly long-lasting relationships, such as the one with his wife Clementine, only last if you never have breakfast together as a couple.

Anthony Eden (1955-1957)

Anthony Eden was the Queen’s second Prime Minister. Having established his reputation as the Queen’s favourite, Churchill quickly realized that Churchill had big shoes to fill. Despite his constant nervousness, he immediately made a sympathetic impression on Elizabeth. He is said to have always had an open ear for her interests.

Harold Macmillan (1957-1963)

Harold Macmillan is also one of the Queen’s favourites. He is said to have always been a urbane and unshakable conversationalist. A warm relationship is said to have quickly developed between him and the monarch. No wonder, since the two are said to have shared a strong passion for political gossip.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home (1963-1964)

Sir Alec Douglas-Home was a member of the English nobility and a childhood friend of the Queen. He had known Elizabeth from an early age, so the two developed a warm relationship. However, their close friendship created a problem: Douglas-Home was not always sure when he should speak to the monarch as a friend and when as the head of government.

Harold Wilson (1964-1970 and 1974-1976)

Harold Wilson was the first Queen’s Prime Minister to come from the Social Democrat Labor Party. Their relationship was uncomplicated from the start. He once said his weekly appointments with the Queen were like visits “to my mother,” cordial and benevolent. In his second term, Wilson was even allowed to stay with the Queen for “a few drinks” after royal and political duties were completed.

Edward Heath (1970-1974)

Edward Heath, on the other hand, had a hard time with Queen Elizabeth II. He is said to have lacked the charm and empathy to win the Queen’s heart for his intentions. Especially when it came to their English role in Europe and as head of the Commonwealth, the two represented completely different views.

James Callaghan (1976-1979)

James Callaghan had a difficult tenure as strikes shook the country. However, he managed to frame the weekly meetings with the Queen as moments of prudence and calm. Both obviously enjoyed it.

Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990)

Margaret Thatcher was one of the most difficult contacts for the Queen. Elizabeth wasn’t just irritated by Thatcher’s penchant for odd handbags. She also often lamented the prime minister’s social coldness – although she always curtsied more deeply than anyone else. It is said that the Queen would have needed a whiskey after every meeting with the iron lady, as Thatcher was called.

John Major (1990-1997)

John Major was the man after Thatcher. So it was much easier for him to establish an intimate relationship with the Queen and he was completely open in discussions with the monarch. Major was so impressed that he even felt relieved in his work.

Tony Blair (1997-2007)

The relationship with Prime Minister Tony Blair, like that with Maggie Thatcher, is said to have proved difficult. Blair’s wife refused the well-established curtsy when he took office, which didn’t amuse the Queen at all. After all, the monarch attaches great importance to the traditional court protocol. In addition, she had repeatedly worried about his brash and bureaucratic streak. He himself is said to have thought Elizabeth callous.

Gordon Brown (2007-2010)

Known for his Scottish accent, Gordon Brown immediately gained a small advantage from the Queen. A loving relationship is said to have never developed between the two. Brown didn’t even receive an invitation to Prince William and Duchess Kate’s wedding.

David Cameron (2010-2016)

David Cameron is a distant relative of the British royal family. He and the Queen have known each other since they were little. She first saw him when he was eight years old, with her son Prince Edward, at Toad Hall School. Even later, the two were always sympathetic to each other.

Theresa May (2016-2019)

Theresa May annoyed the Queen right at the beginning of her reign. She lied to the monarch by claiming that she had secured an agreement with Northern Ireland’s DUP party – which was ultimately a prerequisite for her appointment as Prime Minister. However, this did not materialize until three weeks later, which greatly annoyed the Queen.

Boris Johnson (2019-2022)

Boris Johnson always looked up to the Queen throughout his tenure and even generously called her “Elizabeth the Great” in a speech in the British Parliament. But is this affection mutual? At least doubtful. The Johnson scandals, such as “Partygate”, scratched the global image of Great Britain too much. Certainly not to the Queen’s satisfaction. Johnson even publicly apologized to her after leaking content about a private audience.

Who will be number 15?

Boris Johnson’s successor has not yet been decided. Reputable British newspapers speak of an open power struggle behind the scenes of the Conservative party, the end of which is not yet in sight. Only in the next few weeks will it become clear who has the best chance of reporting to the Queen soon. However, one interesting name has already been mentioned in all the speculation currently bubbling up:

Former Prime Minister and Boris Johnson’s direct predecessor, Theresa May, is said to have already positioned her following within the party to take the helm again. It would be a belated revenge for her: Johnson pushed her out of office three years ago, forced her resignation and inherited May.

More on the subject:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson David Cameron Prince William Kate Middleton Theresa May Parliament Government Churchill Wedding Douglas Mother Coronavirus Queen Elizabeth Queen