A PM, a Queen, a King, then another PM: Seven weeks in Britain in two pictures

The Queen greets Liz Truss at Balmoral on 6 September; exactly seven weeks later King Charles grants new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, permission to form a government. Credit: AP

Two pictures taken exactly seven weeks apart are a stark reminder of the seismic events that have struck the United Kingdom in a period amounting to just half a school term.

As Britain left the Elizabethan age and entered the 'Carolean era,' the nation has been through a period of national mourning, a turbulent (and ongoing) economic crisis, a government in turmoil, yet another leadership contest.

Just under two months ago, the UK had a Queen and a new female prime minister.

Queen Elizabeth II met incoming prime minister Liz Truss on September 6 during an audience at Balmoral where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to form a government.

Liz Truss made her farewell speech with her family watching Credit: James Manning/PA

It was to be the monarch's final public engagement. She died two days later aged 96 at her beloved Scottish home.

For Ms Truss, who was handed the keys to 10 Downing Street after a summer-long leadership contest with former chancellor Rishi Sunak after Boris Johnson was forced to resign amid a series of scandals, it was mean to be a fresh start for her and her embattled party.

But just 44 days after she met the Queen, Ms Truss was also forced to announce her resignation after her short premiership inflicted economic chaos and saw the pound crater to its lowest ebb against the dollar in nearly 40 years.

And now, another prime minister and a new King.

Rishi Sunak, Ms Truss's runner-up and the latest Downing Street occupant - the third PM this year.

Rishi Sunak is the new Prime Minister Credit: James Manning/PA

It is traditional for the monarch of the time to ask the leader of the largest party to form a new government, with audiences usually given in Buckingham Palace.

The Queen's ailing health had meant outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson and Ms Truss had travelled to Scotland to be received by the monarch.

The King welcomed the nation’s first ever Hindu Prime Minister to Buckingham Palace, where Diwali sweets were on offer.

The pair met in the palace’s lavish 1844 Room, where a table was laden with sweet treats marking Diwali – a five-day “Festival of Lights” celebrated this week by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, marking the triumph of good over evil.

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Earlier, Ms Truss tendered her resignation to the King and was later joined by her husband Hugh O’Leary and their daughters, Frances, 16, and Liberty, 13 as her short tenure ended with her final audience as premier with the King.The Queen met 15 prime ministers in her 70 years on the throne.

After less than two months, King Charles has already met his second.