Liz Truss as she arrived at Westminster Abbey (Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)
Australian presenters were unable to identify UK prime minister Liz Truss when she arrived at Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday.
TV channel Nine was providing live commentary for the 2,000 guests gathering in the building for the state funeral, but hit an unfortunate speed bump when the new prime minister showed up.
Seeing her car pull up to the Abbey, the pair noted it was a “significant motorcade” with police escort, speculating: “This might be royalty.”
But, when Truss and her husband Hugh O’Leary got out of the car, Tracy Grimshaw asked: “Who’s this?”
Co-host Peter Overton replied: “Oh – I can’t identify, maybe minor royals, members of the…. I can’t identify them at this point, no.”
Grimshaw added: “We can’t spot everybody unfortunately. They look like they could well be local dignitaries, it’s hard to see – we’re looking at the backs of their heads.”
Overton continued: “I think we are now getting to the pointy end.. of… I’ve just been told that was Liz Truss, the new prime minister, we could see hopping out of the car.”
Admittedly, Truss has only been in No.10 since September 6, after winning the Conservative leadership election.
She met the Queen in Scotland just two days before the monarch died, when she was officially invited to form a government. It’s thought this meeting was one of the sovereign’s final acts as head of state.
Queen Elizabeth greeting newly elected leader of the Conservative party Liz Truss in early September (Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images)
Truss has been dropped into the deep end since then, as she had to step up during a time of national mourning. She was also one of the few people who spoke during the one-hour funeral service on Monday, as she delivered the second lesson from the Gospel of John.
Truss’ predecessor, Boris Johnson, and his wife Carrie Johnson also faced a slightly embarrassing moment when they entered Westminster Abbey.
The former prime minister appeared to be told by guards that he was walking in the wrong order when he tried to walk into the building.
As soon as he and his wife stepped into the service, they were stopped, and told to wait at the side while other previous prime ministers – Theresa May and David Cameron – walked in front of the Johnsons, with their own spouses.
It seemed that the seating plan wanted the former prime ministers to go in chronological order, meaning Cameron (in No.10 from 2010 until 2016) and May (2016 until 2019) got to push in front.