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Who were the 15 prime ministers who served during the Queen's reign?

Who were the 15 prime ministers who served during the Queen's reign?
'God save the King': Liz Truss signals new era for monarchy after ...

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8th at her Balmoral residence in Scotland, as the UK mourns their longest-reigning monarch.

For 70 years, the Queen reigned and saw 15 prime ministers lead the country in this time which began with Winston Churchill when she was 25 years old up until just two days ago at the age of 96 when she hosted an audience with Liz Truss to form a government.

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From geopolitical issues to recessions, scandals and Brexit, you could say the Queen has seen and heard it all as she held weekly audiences with the different prime ministers from across the political spectrum for seven decades.

Here are the 15 prime ministers who served under the Queen's reign:

Winston Churchill

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 1951-1955

The Queen and Winston Churchill famously had a good relationship during the monarch's early yearsPA Wire

After the sudden death of her father King George VI, a young 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth was thrust into the new role as the sovereign when then-prime minister Winston Churchill was serving his second term in office (his first being 1940-1945).

Churchill greeted the Queen when she arrived back from Kenya after her father's death and was on hand to guide the monarch through her first years - he is often reported as one of the Queen's favourite prime ministers.

In 1955, Churchill retired and the Queen penned a letter where she said 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."

Anthony Eden

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 1955-1957

The Queen's relationship with Anthony Eden was more formal compared with his predecessor Winston ChurchillPA Wire

Churchill's deputy Anthony Eden replaced him as prime minister in 1955 and was in office for two years, and is said to have had a more formal relationship with the Queen.

Harold Macmillan

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 1957-1963

Harold Macmillan and the Queen eventually got on during his six years in officePA/PA Wire

Harold Macmillan previously worked as minister of defence, foreign secretary and chancellor before becoming prime minister in 1957 and his relationship with the Queen is said to have had a rocky start but the two eventually warmed up to each other - so much so that the Queen sent Macmillan champagne when he went into hospital.

Alec Douglas-Home

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 1963-1964

Alec Douglas-Home got on with the Queen as he was a family friendPA Wire

Alec Douglas-Home became prime minister in 1963 and served for just under a year until 1964 - but the Queen was said to be delighted at his appointment as he was a childhood friend of the Queen Mother.

"He was an old friend. They talked about dogs and shooting together. They were both Scottish landowners, the same sort of people, like old schoolfriends," an aide said.

Harold Wilson

Party: Labour
Term(s) in office: 1964-70 and 1974-76

Harold Wilson was thought to be one of the Queen's favourtie PMsPhoto by Michael Stroud/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The election of Harold Wilson in 1964 marked the first Labour prime minister during the Queen's reign and was also described as one of the Queen's favourites.

The Queen took the unusual move to invite the prime minister to stay for drinks after their first meeting and Wilson also enjoyed the informality of helping with the washing-up after the Balmoral barbecues.

Edward Heath

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 1970-74

Edward Heath outside Number 10Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images

Edward Health became prime minister in 1970 as the Conservative Party returned to government.

It is said he and the Queen did not have a warm relationship, with "frosty" weekly audiences as they disagreed on the matter of Europe, while Heath believed in European integration, the Queen believed the Commonwealth was the most important.

James Callaghan

Party: Labour
Term in office: 1976-79

James Callaghan had positive words to say about the QueenPhoto by -/CENTRAL PRESS/AFP via Getty Images

James Callaghan and the Queen got on well during his time as prime minister and was the second Labour prime minister during the Queen's reign.

"One of the great things about her is that she always seems able to see the funny side of life. All the conversations were very enjoyable," Callaghan said of the Queen.

Margaret Thatcher

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 1979-1990

Margaret Thatcher (left) and the Queen (right) apparently didn't get on so wellAP Photo, File

History was made when Margaret Thatcher was elected as the first-ever woman prime minister in 1979 - with two women then at the helm of the most powerful positions in the country.

However, the Queen and Thatcher are said to have not got on well with one another as the prime minister wasn't a fan of the traditional Balmoral September trip.

Thatcher went on to become the longest-serving as prime minister in the 20th century (11 years).

John Major

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 1990-1997

John Major outside Number 10 during his time as prime ministerJOHNNY EGGITT/AFP via Getty Images

John Major was prime minister for just under seven years and had a good relationship with the Queen and the royal family and expressed concern about Prince William and Harry after their parent's divorce and then the death of their mother Princess Diana.

When Diana was killed in a car crash in 1997, Major was appointed a special guardian to William and Harry which entailed both legal and administrative responsibilities.

Tony Blair

Party: Labour
Term in office: 1997-2007

Tony Blair and the Queen in 2005 after he was re-electedPhoto by ROTA/Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images

Tony Blair led the Labour Party to a landslide victory in 1997, and won once again in 2005, though it could be said his connection with the Queen wasn't as easy.

The new prime minister was one who came up with the famous phrase “the People’s Princess" to describe Princess Diana after she tragically died in a car crash in Blair's first few months in office and gave suggestions to the Queen on how to react to the public mood.

While Blair's wife, Cherie, did not curtsey to the Queen on her first visit to Balmoral in 1997, GQ reported, and Blair mixed things up by becoming the first of the Queen's 10 PMs to move their weekly audiences, to Her Majesty's "surprise," according to The Telegraph.

Though it is said Blair's relationship with the Queen improved over his 10-year-tenure.

Gordon Brown

Party: Labour
Term in office: 2007-2010

Gordon Brown and the Queen in 2007Photo by John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Gordon Brown became the new Labour leader and prime minister for the next three years and while the Queen loved Scotland, she apparently did not have a warm relationship with the Scottish leader.

Brown and Blair were the only two ex-prime ministers not invited to the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

David Cameron

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 2010-2016

David Cameron and the Queen in 2010Photo by John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty Images

In 2010, David Cameron won the election that marked the Conservative return to government after 13 years as the opposition and at age 44, he was the Queen's youngest PM.

In his six years, Cameron managed to make a royal gaffe in the form of "Purr-gate" after he was caught on camera informing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg about how the Queen "practically purred down the line" when he told her the Scottish Independence referendum result and apologised as a result.

Theresa May

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 2016-2019

Theresa May and the Queen in 2016Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Theresa May became the country's second woman prime minister after Thatcher in 2016, following the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

The Queen reported "disappointed" when May refused to share her plans for leaving the EU during the annual Balmoral visit, but the pair are said to have got on well.

"While members of the Royal Family sit above the political debate, I’ve heard some of them speak with admiration for the level of hard work and many hours of negotiation Theresa May has invested in her role over the last three years," ITV's Royal Editor Chris Ship said when May departed as PM in 2019.

Boris Johnson

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 2019-2022

Boris Johnson and the Queen in 2019Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images

After a Conservative win in the 2019 General Election, Boris Johnson became the 14th prime minister under the Queen's time as monarch.

Just hours after meeting the Queen, Johnson broke protocol by discussing what was said in his first audience with Her Majesty to form a government, as he said she told him: "I don’t know why anyone would want the job."

Johnson's tenure was full of incident, with him having to apologise to the Queen over the Partygate scandal where staff parties at Downing Street reportedly happened the night before Prince Philip's funeral that had Covid restrictions in place.

Liz Truss

Party: Conservative
Term in office: 2022 - present

The Queen (left) with new prime minister Liz Truss (right) two day before she diedPhoto by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Liz Truss was the 15th and final prime minister under the Queen's 70-year rule, and the first audience took place in Balmoral for the first time due to the 96-year-old's mobility issues and happened just two days before the Queen passed away on September 6, 2022, and marked the Queen's final photo and public event.

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