Her Majesty the Queen has, after weeks of speculation made her thoughts on Scottish independence known publicly for the first time, after she told Scottish Independence well wishers to think “very carefully about the future” after attending a Sunday church service.
In a move that may show the Queen had already pre-briefed her Royal protection officers that she was going to say something she wanted widely reported, a police sergeant invited the members of the press who were kept at the usual respectful distance of 200 yards to approach unusually near. A member of the public reported she said “you have an important vote on Thursday. I hope everybody thinks very carefully about the referendum this week”.
As reports the Daily Telegraph, Donald Stewart, a veteran Royal Photographer said the Queen allowing the press to record her up close following a church service was sufficiently unusual so to be a only “once or twice in a generation” event.
The Queen had been attending a Sunday service with her family at Crathie Kirk church near Balmoral, which is an ordinary feature of Her Majesty’s week during her Scottish summers. As the Queen treats her Sunday observances with the Duke of Edinburgh as a private family affair and does not normally interact with the public outside, even without the press her choosing to share her thoughts with the assembles well wishers would be unusual.
Breitbart London spoke to the Prime Minister’s office this morning, who made clear the Government’s position on the Queen being kept out of the Scottish political discourse to preserve her neutrality hasn’t changed. This raises the prospect that this ‘private’ conversation between the Monarch and the public was deliberately conducted by her Majesty within the gaze of the cameras as a way to sidestep her political advisers, who have no doubt frustrated her by insisting on silence on a matter she clearly cares deeply about.
The Monarch has been the centre of speculation and competing claims from all sides of the Independence referendum over the past few weeks, as calls and counter-calls for her to call for British unity have been traded by politicians, experts, and the palace.
Comparisons have recently been drawn to the Queens comparatively striden about Quebecois independence from Canada, another of her realms in the 1980’s and 1990’s. As those speeches were made, entirely constitutionally on the advice of her Canadian Prime Minister it has focussed attention on British Prime Minister David Cameron, who may have taken steps to gag the Queen.
The Queen remains extremely popular in Scotland and has higher approval ratings than any party leader, so her words will not fall on deaf ears. The danger is, having now spoken out against independence if Scotland does vote to leave her Majesty may appear to be a reluctant monarch north of the border, ruling over a country she would rather didn’t exist in its new form.