Rehearsing her energy speech ahead of her energy package announcement at midday, Truss was brought the news by the Cabinet Secretary at around 9 AM that the Queen had taken a turn for the worse. She ensured a black dress was brought to Number 10 from her home in Greenwich.
Truss announced to the Commons her plan to freeze energy bills at an average of £2, 500 for two years, forecast to involve the transfer of up to £150 billion in taxpayer’s funds to cover the difference between the wholesale market price and the capped consumer prices. Official cost estimates would be held back to a fiscal statement by Kwasi Kwarteng later in the month. In the afternoon, it would emerge that Kwarteng had sacked Tom Scholar, the Treasury’s Permanent Secretary, in their first meeting.
As Keir Starmer responded to Truss’s speech, Nadhim Zahawi, the new Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, brought a note for the frontbenches that the Queen was moribund. Truss was working on her speech – reportedly a replacement for an official version she deemed out of date – when the news was brought to her that the Queen had died.
Only two days after kissing hands and becoming her 15th Prime Minister, Truss announced that the late Queen “was the rock on which modern Britain was built”, that a period of national mourning had begun, and that the new monarch would reign as King Charles III.
With acknowledgments to Harry Cole and James Heale‘s Out of the Blue: the Inside Story of the Unexpected Rise and Rapid Fall of Liz Truss