Prince William 'Extraordinarily Foolish' Over Scottish Independence, Politician Says

Prince William has been accused of "poor judgment" after allowing himself to be linked to the campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) have been attempting to gain support for a second Scottish Independence referendum after falling one seat short of an outright majority in recent elections, The Guardian reported.

Against that backdrop, Prince William and Kate Middleton had a seven-day tour Scotland, speaking at length about his commitment to the country.

On May 27, the final day, the Duke of Cambridge held a meeting with former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has launched a campaign to keep Scotland in the union.

The move sparked criticism from Alex Salmond, former Scottish First Minister and head of the pro-independence Alba Party.

Prince William and Kate Middleton's Scottish Tour
Prince William and Kate Middleton attend a Beating of the Retreat at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on May 27, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The same day, they had an audience with former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah Brown. Jane Barlow-WPA Pool/Getty Images

In a lengthy video posted on Twitter, he asked "what on earth Prince William thought he was doing by having a confab with Gordon Brown?"

He added: "We should have no compunction and no hesitation about seeing in that meeting with Gordon Brown what seems to be the preparations for doing what is absolutely extraordinary which would be to have a constitutional monarchy looking and directly discussing aspects of the constitutional debate which should of course be left to the people.

"It would be enormously wise of the royal family to follow basically what has been the queen's example over her long reign, to keep the monarchy over and above politics."

He described how "it does seem extraordinarily foolish to have a situation where it can even be said," by the media, "that somehow the monarchy, the future head of state, the panopoly of the Royal Family has been somehow involved in the Scottish constitutional debate."

Salmond said Brown and his wife Sarah were "perfectly entitled" to meet William at Holyrood Palace but the royal should not have allowed himself to be linked to a figurehead of the campaign against independence.

And he cited historic attempts by former Prime Minister David Cameron to gain Queen Elizabeth II's support for the remaining in the union during the first Scottish Independence referendum.

The queen famously said on the eve of the 2014 poll that she hoped "people would think very carefully about the future," the Daily Record reported.

The comment was not caught on camera but was made to a well wisher at Crathie Kirk, the church where she worships during stays at her Scottish estate Balmoral.

It was reported in the U.K. press and Cameron later conceded he had asked for support.

He told the BBC: "I remember conversations I had with my private secretary and he had with the Queen's private secretary and I had with the Queen's private secretary – not asking for anything that would be in any way improper or unconstitutional, but just a raising of the eyebrow even, you know, a quarter of an inch, we thought would make a difference."

Of her comments at Crathie Kirk, he added: "It was certainly well covered. Although the words were very limited, I think it helped to put a slightly different perception on things."

Salmond said: "There was in the campaign as we now know a blatant attempt by the prime minister, Prime Minister Cameron, to involve the monarchy directly in politics which was largely resisted by the palace and whatever things were said were certainly not said in a way which had a direct or powerful influence in the campaign.

"But the prime minister certainly wanted to drag the monarchy into politics."

He added: "The Brown meeting shows poor judgement on both sides but the same degree of unscrupulous unionist desperation. The independence team should take note."

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace told U.K. newspaper The Times: "During his time in Scotland Prince William has spoken to a broad range of people from different communities including politicians from across the political spectrum."

Prince William also met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, during his tour of Scotland.