Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2024
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Queen Elizabeth’s 15 Prime Ministers and the one she couldn’t stand | Royal | News

In a remarkable seven decades on the British throne, the late Queen Elizabeth II saw 15 British Prime Ministers come and go during her reign, from Sir Winston Churchill to Margaret Thatcher and Boris Johnson to the short-lived Liz Truss.

Although displaying an air of political impartiality, the late Queen did indeed have her favourites among those who took up residence in 10 Downing Street after her accession in 1952.

The late Queen built a rapport with Harold Wilson, as shown in great detail in several episodes of Netflix’s The Crown, Margaret Thatcher was said to have alarmed Her Majesty, and she found Harold Macmillan too ‘noble’.

However, according to those closest to her, the late Queen’s favourite was, without doubt, Sir Winston Churchill.

Churchill’s first political encounter with the late Queen was when he famously greeted the young grieving Princess Elizabeth on her return to Britain from Kenya upon the death of her father, King George VI.

When Churchill retired in 1955, the late Queen sent him a touching hand-written letter describing how no successor “will ever for me be able to hold the place of my first Prime Minister to whom both my husband and I owe so much and for whose wise guidance during the early years of my reign I shall always be so profoundly grateful”.

Like a substitute father figure, Churchill nurtured Elizabeth through her early years, giving her worldly advice that nobody else would be able to give. Of course, the late Queen never forgot their close friendship and offered Churchill a dukedom upon his retirement.

On the other hand, the late Queen’s relationship with Sir Anthony Eden was more formal and she was said to have found Macmillan “not to her taste”.

But it was Margaret Thatcher, the Queen’s first female prime minister, that received the most attention. It was widely reported during Thatcher’s leadership that she did not get on with the Queen at all.

However, in her autobiography, Thatcher rubbished the claims: “Stories of clashes […] were too good not to make up.”

Thatcher was, of course, given a life peerage upon standing down from the House of Commons at the 1992 general election. This allowed her a seat in the House of Lords. She took the title Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire.

Here are the 15 premiers of the late Queen’s reign up until her death on September 8, 2022:

– Sir Winston Churchill (Conservative, 1951-55)

– Sir Anthony Eden (Conservative, 1955-57)

– Harold Macmillan (Conservative, 1957-63)

– Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Conservative, 1963-64)

– Harold Wilson (Labour, 1964-70 and 1974-76)

– Sir Edward Heath (Conservative, 1970-74)

– James Callaghan (Labour, 1976-79)

– Baroness Margaret Thatcher (Conservative, 1979-90)

– Sir John Major (Conservative, 1990-97)

– Sir Tony Blair (Labour, 1997-2007)

– Gordon Brown (Labour, 2007-2010)

– David Cameron (Conservative, 2010-2016)

– Theresa May (Conservative, 2016-2019)

Boris Johnson (Conservative, 2019-2022)

– Liz Truss (Conservative, September 6, 2022–October 25, 2022)

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