New Prime Minister Liz Truss began her premiership in the informal surroundings of the Queen’s Scottish home of Balmoral.
With a fire roaring beneath the mantlepiece, the royal leaned on her now familiar walking stick as she greeted the woman becoming the 15th prime minister of her reign.
The venue for the audience between Queen Elizabeth and Mary Elizabeth Truss was the green drawing room of a home loved by its first occupants, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and which has become the treasured holiday retreat of the modern royal family.
For the formal appoint of Ms Truss, the Queen wore a blouse, cardigan, and a skirt of Balmoral tartan and warmly greeted the politician, who on Monday was named the winner in the Tory Party leadership contest.
Thunderstorms and heavy rain were predicted and the torrential downpours came and went as, first, the outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson arrived with his wife to tender his resignation, then later his successor swept into the royal residence with her husband Hugh O’Leary.
The weather reportedly disrupted Ms Truss’s travel plans but only delayed the audience with the Queen by around 10 minutes.
The change of venue for the historic meeting, from Buckingham Palace to Balmoral, comes as the 96-year-old monarch continues to face ongoing mobility issues, with the decision made to hold this key event at her Aberdeenshire home.
And an inspection of a guard of honour at the gates of Balmoral, which formally marks her taking up residence at Balmoral, was held in private in the castle’s grounds.
But she appeared in good humour and, just before Ms Truss’s arrival, commented on the dark skies above her Scottish home.
Two of the Queen’s most important aides – her private Secretary Sir Edward Young and Equerry Lieutenant Colonel Tom White – were on hosting duties, welcoming and saying goodbye to the outgoing and incoming prime ministers.
And, in contrast to the formal reception hall lined with stuffed deer heads the guests were ushered into, a curling stone was used to prop open one of the doors of Balmoral’s entrance.
As the meeting between the Queen and Ms Truss drew to a close, her husband entered the room to join his wife for a few minutes – and likely to savour the occasion.