Royals upstage Sturgeon’s independence bid with unifying message after SNP conference

Prince Charles 'more in the spotlight than ever' as future king

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On Monday, Ms Sturgeon delivered a speech at SNP’s annual conference during which she spoke of challenges posed by Covid. In her address, she also reiterated the importance of supporting and protecting the NHS and social care.

A day later, members of the Royal Family marked St Andrew’s Day, in honour of Scotland’s eponymous patron saint.

Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, marked the occasion, on which people traditionally come together to celebrate Scottish culture through dance and music.

The couple are known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, and their message can be perceived as one of unity.

The tweet from their Clarence House page reads: “Wishing our Scottish followers a very happy #StAndrewsDay!”

Accompanying the tweet was an image from the couple’s visit to Scotland in September.

The royals wore traditional tartan for their visit to Dumfries House in Ayrshire. 

In her speech at the start of the week, First Minister Ms Sturgeon referred to the election seven months ago which saw SNP votes reach “historically high numbers”, adding the people of Scotland “told us to get on with the job”.

Ms Sturgeon then said: “I intend to repay that trust – to lead Scotland not just through Covid, but into and through the process of recovery and renewal.”

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She referred to her position as First Minister as both a “privilege” and “a serious responsibility”.

Ms Sturgeon added: “It is not a job I do out of duty alone. I do it because I relish the opportunities that lie ahead for Scotland.

“And I know that to harness these, Scotland needs a government – like ours – with ambition, aspiration and real confidence in this country.”

She then went on to reiterate her hopes of Scottish independence, noting the campaign will, Covid permitting, resume “in earnest” in 2022.

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In reference to the bid, she said the Westminster Government is trying to “block Scottish democracy and deny Scotland the choice of moving forward to independence”.

She added: “If we don’t choose to move our Parliament forward and make it stronger with independence – the Tories will drag it backwards and make it weaker.”

She later added that she has hopes of building a “better Scotland” with the plans outlined in her speech.

Ms Sturgeon said: “An independent Scotland will be an outward looking, welcoming nation.

“A country that celebrates diversity and works with others to shape a better world.”

Charles and Camilla also ventured to the Isle of Skye in September and the trip marked the couple’s first visit to the island, located in Scotland’s north west, since 2009.

During their trip, the couple listened to a performance by Gaelic singer Robert Robertson and also tucked into fish and chips from Portree fisherman Dan Corrgiall’s shop.

Followers of the royal Twitter account, including @FateOfLight echoed the sentiment of the message back to the couple, writing “Happy St. Andrew’s Day HRH”.

While @DonaldMac77 praised the pair, writing “So much class” alongside clapping emojis.

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