The queen has seen this before: The UK power handover


Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II looks at a painting of Queen Victoria inspecting wounded Coldstream Guardsmen, 1855, by artist John Gilbert, as part of the exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, for the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace, London, Wednesday July 17, 2019. Queen Elizabeth toured the exhibition featuring the story of her great-grandmother Queen Victoria. (Victoria Jones/Pool via AP)

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LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has seen this production before. Before Wednesday, the monarch has had 13 people form a government for her since becoming queen in 1952. That means Boris Johnson was the 14th prime minister of her reign so far. Here’s a look at the British power handover:


After being applauded by Downing Street staff, Prime Minister Theresa May traveled the mile (1.6 km) to Buckingham Palace to resign and asked the monarch to invite fellow Conservative Johnson to form a new government.

May entered the palace as the nation’s leader but upon departing she was just a lawmaker for her Maidenhead constituency, joining the 649 other lawmakers in the House of Commons.

May is one of Britain’s shortest-serving prime ministers in the last 100 years. Her premiership has lasted a total of 1,106 days — enough to outrun just six of the 22 people to have been prime minister since the start of the last century.



Leave the lights on, Theresa.

After her visit to the queen, May did not return to 10 Downing St., a Georgian residence in London with approximately 100 rooms just a few minutes’ walk from Parliament.

Johnson, on the other hand, went to see the queen shortly after May left Buckingham Palace. He then returned to No. 10 as the country’s new prime minister and outlined his vision for the future in a rousing speech Wednesday afternoon that promised to deliver Brexit by Oct 31 with “no ifs, ands or buts.” Resignations and firings of government ministers and top officials then went on for hours.



With the revolving door of government spinning, one key member of the Downing Street team will stay on the job: Larry the Cat.

The 12-year-old tabby is the government’s official Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. Larry’s Twitter feed proudly notes that he’s been in office longer than the current leader of any U.K. political party.

Larry’s tenure in office began with former Prime Minister David Cameron, who tired of television crews spotting mice on the doorstep. Cameron and his family picked out Larry at a London animal shelter.

The gleaming black door of No. 10 Downing Street offers the backdrop for Larry’s daily catwalk, but since appearing on the street he has also been photographed in less glamorous poses. He’s also known for catfights with Palmerston, the chief mouser at the nearby Foreign Office.

Some in government just never get along.


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