How the Queen would respond if beloved Scotland became independent – ‘Viscerally Scottish’

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As the sovereign, the Queen has spent much of her reign in Scotland both in a personal and an official capacity. From opening sessions at Holyrood for the Scottish Parliament to Royal Family holidays in Aberdeenshire, the Queen’s love for the country is abounding. But the issue of Scottish independence is still a hotly contested political issue, and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made it repeatedly clear that she seeks another independence referendum as soon as possible. Depending on the outcome, it could mean the Queen or her descendants could be ousted as Scotland’s head of state in the future.

In 2014, 84.6 percent of Scots turned out to vote in the Scottish independence referendum – the highest turnout recorded for an election or referendum in the UK since the early 1900s.

Overall, 55.3 percent of voters opted to stay in the UK while 44.7 percent voted for an independent Scotland, but pro-independence campaigners argue a lot has changed since 2014 – including Brexit (which Scotland voted overwhelmingly against) and the Covid pandemic.

In the latest YouGov/These Islands survey of 1,029 adults in Scotland between March 29 and 31, 39 percent said they would vote that Scotland should be an independent country if a referendum was held tomorrow, while 44 percent would vote Scotland should not be independent, 13 percent didn’t know, four percent would not vote and one percent refused the question.

With such tight margins in opinion polling, it is entirely possible Scotland could opt to leave the UK in the future – which would undoubtedly prompt heartbreak for the Queen and the Royal Family.

Veteran royal correspondent Robert Hardman has released a new book, ‘Queen of Our Times, the Life of Elizabeth II’, which discusses how the Queen feels about Scotland and how she would respond to a vote for independence.

And according to Mr Hardman, the Queen would continue the habit of a lifetime and accept the result either way. Mr Hardman told The Times: “Blair speaks about the Queen’s realism and stoicism.

“I think he’s right. She would ready herself for either result. Of course, she would be very sad if the Union came to an end, but if it is the democratic will, I think she will say to herself, ‘If this is what people have voted for, it is my duty to make it work’.”

While the Queen would respect the result of a democratic referendum, the loss of Scotland would surely sting for the Queen and other royals who feel “viscerally Scottish” themselves, he said.

Mr Hardman added: “I think one thing that often gets lost is just how the Royal Family feels.

“The Queen and Prince Charles feel viscerally Scottish, especially when they are in Scotland.”

The Royal Family has several properties in Scotland, including the Queen’s official Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

But it is their beloved family residence of Balmoral, which first entered royal possession in the 19th Century during the reign of Queen Victoria, that has firmly entranced the Royal Family.

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The Queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie previously told ITV’s ‘Our Queen at 90’ documentary that the Scottish hideaway is where the Queen is at her happiest.

She explained: “I think Granny is the most happy there, I think she really, really loves the Highlands… walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs and people coming in and out.”

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are also known to regularly visit Scotland and, when they do, they reside at the Birkhall residence once owned by the Queen Mother.

The Queen spent much of her childhood holidays with her parents at Birkhall, and her late mother had aristocratic Scottish ancestry.

Mr Hardman will be at the Aye Write book festival in Glasgow on May 14.

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