Theresa May emulates Maggie as she chooses Switzerland for holiday

Written by David Singleton on 11 August 2016 in Diary
Diary

With her summer break, the new prime minister is taking a different approach to David Cameron, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Theresa May has followed in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher by choosing Switzerland as the destination for her first holiday as prime minister.

The Conservative leader will fly out on Friday for a 10-day break in Switzerland, Number 10 has confirmed.

With her choice of holiday destination, May has taken a different approach to sunshine-loving former prime ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair.

During his time in office, Blair tended to bask in the heat of Tuscany in Italy, but was often spotted on the beach of Barbados as well.

Cameron took holidays in Lanzarote, Ibiza and the Algarve, and was recently pictured in lapping up the sun in Corsica.

May’s choice of Switzerland in also in contrast with Gordon Brown who often opted for the symbolism of a summer break in the UK to show how in touch he was with Middle Britain. After entering Number 10 in 2008, Brown went on a 16-day holiday to the Suffolk town of Southwold.

Thatcher is only prime minister to have holidayed in Switzerland in recent years. The late Baroness often visited for holidays during her premiership, staying with the retired Tory MP Sir Douglas Glover at his lakeside home in Schloss Freudenberg.

According to her biographer Charles Moore, Lady Glover would “scour Switzerland and neighbouring countries for people of sufficient brainpower and eminence to come to the daily lunches and dinners given for the Thatchers”.

The country may well appeal to May because of its neutral symbolism. It is a member of neither the EU nor the European Economic Area, though it does have access to the single market.

However the Swiss Alps have been a regular holiday destination for May and her husband, Philip, for three decades.

A keen hiker, May is thought to thought to be keen to embrace the Alpine scenery and the numerous walking opportunities.

In 2007, she spoke to The Telegraph about “the joys of walking in Switzerland and revealed her top tip for a successful trip.

“The key thing is to go well prepared – and invest in a good pair of walking boots,” she said.

 


Picture by: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

 

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