Enter the twilight of the world’s longest reign. The 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II missed what is arguably the highlight of any British monarch’s calendar: the reading of the government’s parliamentary program instead delivered by her son, the crown prince. The importance is mostly symbolic, since the Queen’s Speech is written by the prime minister. However the optics of the exercise beget the question: what United Kingdom will Charles inherit?
Will it be smaller? On Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson’s team is hinting that despite last week’s historic defeat of hardline unionists in regional assembly elections, the prime minister is set to double down and prefers an all-out fight with Brussels on the post-Brexit trade deal he signed rather than admitting that leaving the EU could in fact accelerate Irish reunification. Will it be costlier? Brexit adjustments are compounding global inflation woes.
Will this prime minister be sticking around for the next chapter? As the opposition tries to fend off a brewing “beergate” inquiry before it blends into the Tories’ own “partygate” scandal, we ask about the staying power of a Boris Johnson who always seems to survive to fight another day.
Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.