Monday, 26 Oct 2020

Queen heartbreak: Why Elizabeth II could FORFEIT Scottish residence

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Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royals owe their current position to Scotland. King James I became the first King of the Union in 1603, and his position has passed through generations to the current Queen. Like Queen Victoria before her, the Queen has maintained a special relationship with the country.

But Scotland has recently become a very different place, with many residents ready for independence.

Polls show a majority now favour leaving the UK, with many Scots still in favour of the EU and against Westminster control.

Coronavirus has also given First Minister Nicola Sturgeon direct control over local pandemic response, a test of devolution which has shown her a worthy leader.

As such, Scotland could soon vote to leave the United Kingdom and could initiate calls to ditch the monarchy.

SNP MPs have, in the past, called for a vote on the monarchy following a successful bid for independence.

Following the EU referendum in 2016, now SNP MP for Sterling wrote he would support such a referendum.

He wrote on Reddit: “I want to see the people of Scotland in charge of Scotland’s future, so once we regain independence I would be up for a referendum on the subject and the people will choose, but let’s do it after independence so we can have a proper debate about the subject in its own right.

“There are monarchies I like, and there are republics I like, so long as the people have chosen I’ll respect that choice.”

Nicola Sturgeon has also said she is in favour of Scots having a choice, and if they chose to drop the Queen as head of state, her official residence could hang in the balance.

When she stays in the country for one week a year, she stays in the official residence of Holyrood Palace.

The palace has hosted monarchs since 1678 and partly relies on public funding.

Government agency Historic Scotland also bears responsibility for is conservation, so if republicans won a referendum, officials would likely scrutinise the property’s status.

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Her other property, Balmoral, will likely remain free of any scrutiny.

Prince Albert bought the residence for Queen Victoria in the 19th century and added extensions to it over time.

Since Queen Victoria’s death, it has remained in the Royal Family’s private possession.

The Queen could, therefore, continue to use it as a home away from home.

She likely wouldn’t exist in the same capacity in Scotland even if people voted to keep the monarchy, according to experts.

The monarch could scale back her duties to the extent of her others in the Commonwealth.

Professor Robert Hazell, director of UCL’s Constitution Unit, said her duties would “likely be very similar”.

In the event of a Commonwealth-like relationship between England on Scotland, a Governor-General may operate in her place.

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