King Charles praises 'magnificent achievements and indomitable spirit' of Scottish people

4 mins read

All corners of the United Kingdom have been shaken by grief following the death of the Queen, not least Scotland.

The affection the Scottish people held for the late monarch is clear to see for anyone who glanced at the footage of the thousands of people who watched the Queen’s coffin on its journey up the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

It was a mutual affection and it is no surprise that the Queen remained in her beloved Balmoral as her health was failing.

The new King inherited a love for the Scottish countryside from his mother and regularly retreats to his Birkhall estate.

But he faces the real threat of the Scotland breaking away from the rest of the UK under the latest push for independence by the Scottish National Party.

Far from the 2014 independence referendum putting a lid on the issue for a generation, Nicola Sturgeon wants another go now.

In a speech to the Scottish Parliament as the King watched on, Ms Sturgeon promised Scotland “stands ready” to support him in his public service.

The First Minister spoke of his mother as the “Queen of Scots” and paid tribute to her “extraordinary legacy”.

Ms Sturgeon has always insisted that independence from Westminster does not mean independence from the monarchy.

Her MPs insist King Charles III would remain head of state for an independent Scotland.

But it is hard to see how that position would hold in the decades to come if a breakaway bid is successful.

The SNP’s last bid to separate from the rest of the UK was something the Queen let it be known she believed voters should “think very carefully” about.

David Cameron was caught on camera claiming the Queen “purred down the line” when he telephoned her to say Scotland had voted no to independence.

The UK government says it is too soon for another national poll but the First Minister is challenging that through the courts.

Polls have tightened in recent years on whether Scots want to leave and traditionally they have also been more ambivalent about the Royal Family.

But in times of turmoil domestically and internationally, leaving many feeling unsettled by the challenges ahead, the monarch represents stability and certainty.

The end of the Elizabethan era and the start of the Carolean age is a seamless transition.

Scotland has been front and centre of that process, a demonstration that while some Scots feel Westminster and its politicians are remote, the UK’s monarchs are anything but.

Hundreds of thousands of Scots have turned out to pay their respects to the Queen’s funeral cortege on its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral.

It holds out hope that the ties that bind the UK, with the monarchy at the very heart of that, will make voters “think very carefully” if they are asked a second time back independence.

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