Queen Elizabeth II, 94, is the constitutional head of the United Kingdom and the presiding sovereign of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The Queen paid tribute to Scotland on social Monday as the nation marks Burn’s Night, days after the Scottish National Party (SNP) revealed its “roadmap to a referendum”, outlining its plan to seek a new independence vote.
The Queen is extremely proud of her Scottish connections and spends her summer holidays in Aberdeenshire every year on the Balmoral Estate.
Balmoral is said to be where the Queen feels most at home and Monday’s tweet struck a sentimental note.
The tweet which was shared by the Royal Family’s official Twitter account included several stunning pictures of Balmoral and the highlands and cited poet Robert Burns.
The tweet read: “Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.” – Robert Burns, 1789.”
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The tweet added: “Wishing all our Scottish followers a happy #BurnsNight.
“Balmoral Castle, The Queen’s home in the Highlands, and the River Dee are pictured on a recent Winter’s day.”
While the Queen has to stay politically neutral and has not openly shared her views on Scottish independence, as the UK’s head of state she is likely to want Britain to remain united.
The Queen’s connection to Scotland runs deep and she is bound to the nation by ties of ancestry, affection and duty.
The Queen is descended from the Royal House of Stewart on both sides of her family.
The roadmap was presented to members of the SNP’s national assembly by the Scottish government’s constitution secretary, Mike Russell.
The plan states that if the SNP take office, the Scottish government will request from the UK government a section 30 order – part of the Scotland Act 1998 which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster.
The roadmap claims “there could be no moral or democratic justification for denying that request” and adds that if the UK government did take this position it would be “unsustainable both at home and abroad”.
What would happen to the Queen if Scotland gained independence?
Whether or not the SNP secure another Scottish Independence Referendum remains to be seen.
Scotland voted to remain in the UK in the 2014 independence referendum but calls for another vote have ramped up in the wake of the Brexit as Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
There is speculation around whether the Queen would remain as Scotland’s monarch if the country voted to sever ties with the UK.
Addressing what might happen to the Queen if Scotland was granted independence UCL Professor of Government and the Constitution Robert Hazell told Express.co.uk: “In their 2014 independence White Paper, the SNP declared that an independent Scotland would continue to be a monarchy.
“So if Scotland became independent, the Queen would continue to be the Queen of Scotland, just as she is the Queen of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and a dozen other realms where she is the head of state.”