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BRITISH Prime Minister Liz Truss said Friday that Elizabeth II, who died yesterday at the age of 96, was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known and “reinvented the monarchy” to adapt it to modernity.
The head of the Government inaugurated the tributes to the monarch in a special session in the House of Commons, in which the MPs who wish, from 650, will be able to remember her until ten o’clock at night.
The president of the lower house, Lindsay Hoyle, dressed in black robes, like other officials and mourning MPs, opened the session with a speech in which he recalled moments of her reign, after the plenary observed one minute of silence.
Truss, who last Tuesday was received by the monarch after being elected by the Conservatives as successor to Boris Johnson, said that the UK has grown and flourished during the 70 years of the Elizabethan reign, in which the Queen showed her devotion to the union of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Tory leader stressed that Elizabeth II, who knew fifteen British prime ministers, kept her weekly meetings with them until the end and confessed that she herself, in her contacts with the head of state, benefited from their wise counsel.
The Prime Minister was followed by the leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, who stressed the constant presence of the Queen in the lives of most Britons, and other leaders of parliamentary groups, including the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP).
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed in his turn to speak his sadness for the death of the sovereign and pointed out that she was a human reference point that some even thought she was in some way “eternal”.
Hoyle specified that today’s parliamentary session will be interrupted at 17 GMT to listen to the pre-recorded televised speech of King Charles III, who will be officially proclaimed tomorrow at an event at St James’s Palace in London.
At noon today, the bells of the country’s main religious temples rang out in memory of Elizabeth II, who will also be commemorated with cannon fire at 12 GMT.