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King Charles III Appoints New U.K. Prime Minister Keir Starmer After Accepting Rishi Sunak’s Resignation

King Charles III heralded a new regime on Friday, appointed Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer as the next British Prime Minister. 

After the results of the U.K.’s general election came in announcing that the Labour Party had won by a landslide on Thursday, Charles hosted former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace to accept his resignation on Friday morning.

Shortly after, Starmer, 61, held an audience with the 75-year-old king where the reigning British monarch asked him to form a new administration in his name. 

The meeting was photographed as the two men shook hands in Buckingham Palace. 

Britain’s King Charles III welcomes Britain’s incoming Prime Minister Keir Starmer during an audience at Buckingham Palace in London on July 5, 2024, a day after Britain held a general election.Photo by YUI MOK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Labour Party’s win marks the end of a 14 year-streak of Conservative rule in the United Kingdom. 

This marks the third prime minister that Charles has had since he took the throne in 2022. Liz Truss was in office when Charles started his reign following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Truss left shortly after, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history. 

Sunak replaced Truss, marking the first prime minister Charles welcomed while on the throne. 

On Friday, Starmer spoke from No. 10 Downing Street after his trip to Buckingham Palace, saying, “I have just returned from Buckingham Palace where I accepted an invitation from His Majesty the King to form the next government from this great nation…. Now our country has voted decisively for change.”

Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria Starmer wave at the crowd at No. 10 Downing Street after he accepted the role as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister on July 5, 2024.OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Charles recently returned to public-facing duties amid his ongoing cancer treatment. The royals announced earlier this year that the British monarch was diagnosed with cancer. But Charles has kept a busy schedule, attending events in Edinburgh, Scotland, earlier this week. 

His daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, is also battling cancer and has stepped back from public duties amid her treatment. Her husband, Prince William, has been continuing his royal work, and last month the entire family, including Kate and the couple’s three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, were all in attendance at the king’s annual Trooping the Colour Parade

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