Leader Truss says queen’s death is ‘difficult moment’ for UK

Sep 19, 2022, 11:30 AM | Updated: 11:35 pm

British Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks at the Westminster Abbey during the funeral of Queen Elizab...

British Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks at the Westminster Abbey during the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, in London, Monday Sept. 19, 2022. (Phil Noble/Pool Photo via AP)

(Phil Noble/Pool Photo via AP)

              Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss, right, and her husband Hugh O'Leary observe a minute silence outside 10 Downing Street, in London, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, ahead of tomorrow's funeral of the late Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
              Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss, her husband Hugh O'Leary, former Prime Minister John Major and his wife Norma, former Prime Minister Tony Blair with his wife Cherie Blair depart, after the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, at Westminster Abbey, inn London, Monday Sept. 19, 2022. The Queen, who died aged 96 on Sept. 8, will be buried at Windsor alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.  (Gareth Cattermole/Pool Photo via AP)
              British Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks at the Westminster Abbey during the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, in London, Monday Sept. 19, 2022. (Phil Noble/Pool Photo via AP)
              British Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in central London, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. The Queen, who died aged 96 on Sept. 8, will be buried at Windsor alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)
              FILE - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister and form a new government, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. British Prime Minister Liz Truss took office less than two weeks ago, impatient to set her stamp on government. The death of Queen Elizabeth II ripped up Truss’s carefully laid plans for the first weeks of her term, putting everyday politics in the U.K. on hold as the country was plunged into official and emotional mourning.(Jane Barlow/Pool Photo via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss says the death of Queen Elizabeth II is a “very difficult moment” for the country, and acknowledged that dealing with it has been a challenge for her untested new government.

Truss took office just two days before the queen died on Sept. 8, and the first days of her term have been spent attending memorial services and the funeral of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Truss has had to temporarily set aside her policy plans, and said she was “focused on making sure we as a nation mourn her late majesty and welcome King Charles.”

“It has been a momentous period and a period of great grief and sadness in the United Kingdom, and I think you have seen a huge outpouring of love and affection for her late majesty as well as a huge amount of warmth towards King Charles III,” Truss told reporters late Monday as she flew to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

“At the funeral we saw such huge public support and I have also seen that from world leaders who have come to London in unprecedented numbers,” she said.

Truss won a Conservative Party leadership contest on Sept. 5 and was formally appointed prime minister by the queen the next day at Balmoral Castle. Elizabeth died at her beloved Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands on Sept. 8, aged 96.

Truss said she was “hugely honored” to have been appointed by the queen in one of the monarch’s final acts.

With the queen’s death, the new prime minister had to put her policy plans on hold during 10 days of national mourning. She said that since the queen died she had had “the most tremendous support” from civil servants, royal staff and the armed forces who worked on the long-rehearsed plans for the monarch’s passing and its aftermath.

“What has been a very difficult moment for our nation, the way it has been handed is tremendous,” Truss said.

“I just feel it’s a very important part of my role as prime minister to make sure that we are marking this very important moment in our nation’s history.”

Britain’s usually rancorous politics, put on pause by the monarch’s death, are due to resume this week. Truss is spending two days at the U.N. trying to build bridges and shore up Western support for Ukraine.

Then on Friday, U.K. Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng is due to give an emergency budget statement with details of how the government plans to tackle soaring energy prices and surging inflation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Leader Truss says queen’s death is ‘difficult moment’ for UK