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UK’s New Prime Minister Takes Charge of a Nation Adrift

Liz Truss is assuming the reins of a country where the pillars of stability have been washed away.

Left: The Union Jack flies at half-staff above Buckingham Palace in London on Sept. 8. Right: UK Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a statement outside No. 10 Downing St. after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Left: The Union Jack flies at half-staff above Buckingham Palace in London on Sept. 8. Right: UK Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a statement outside No. 10 Downing St. after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Photographer: Getty Images (2)

The announcement was made in traditional style, delivered by a BBC newsreader dressed in black and relayed to passengers in British Airways flights worldwide.

News had filtered out during that day that Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was ill and her family was gathering at her side at Balmoral Castle, the royal residence in the Scottish Highlands. Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday at the age of 96 was hardly unexpected. But few anticipated that it would come at such a pivotal moment for the country and its new prime minister, Liz Truss.