Scottish Independence Calls Could See Queen Elizabeth's Reign End With Union Collapsing

Queen Elizabeth II faces a new challenge as she approaches the end of her reign—amid mounting calls for a second Scottish independence referendum.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson a new poll is now a case of "when not if," after a landslide win in the May local elections, The National reported.

Sturgeon wants to hold the vote by 2024, according to The Herald, raising the prospect Elizabeth could face seeing Scotland break from the U.K. at the tail end of her era.

The mounting debate places pressure on the Queen, and if a new referendum does see Scotland vote for independence, former Prime Minister David Cameron has made it plain how he believes the Queen would feel.

He was filmed by journalists at Bloomberg's headquarters discussing the referendum with Mike Bloomberg.

He said: "The definition of relief is being the prime minister of the United Kingdom and ringing the Queen and saying 'it's alright, it's okay.'

"That was something. She purred down the line."

Back in 2014, she was asked by the Conservative politician to intervene politically, something royals by convention are not supposed to do.

However, she did make headlines after telling a well-wisher at Crathie Kirk, the church where she worships while holidaying at Balmoral, that she hoped "people would think very carefully about the future."

Scottish politicians and the media are already watching the royals closely for any sign of a new intervention this time around.

A headline in the Mail on Sunday last month declared: "Operation Save The Union: The Queen will lead a Royal charm offensive to encourage Scotland to resist demands of nationalists for independence (and William and Kate are expected to play a key role)."

The story claimed the Queen, William and Kate poll well in Scotland and could boost any campaign against independence.

The queen recently wrote a letter to the Church of Scotland saying "new bonds" forged during the pandemic "will serve us all well in the future as the United Kingdom seeks to rebuild and reshape community life."

The statement may sound innocuous but was seized on by Scottish newspaper The National, which suggested Elizabeth "made her own apparent comment about a United Kingdom."

The stories followed a speech made by Prince William to the Church of Scotland, in which he spoke at length about his commitment to the country.

He said: "Scotland is incredibly important to me and will always have a special place in my heart.

"I've been coming to Scotland since I was a small boy. As I grew up, I saw how my grandmother relishes every minute she spends here.

"And my father is never happier than when walking among the hills."

He added: "In short, Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also, my saddest.

"I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning.

"And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep."

However, during the week-long tour, he held a private meeting with former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has launched a pro-union campaign.

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, now leader of the pro-independence Alba Party, said "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 panoply of the royal family has been somehow involved in the Scottish constitutional debate."

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."

The Queen's Speech in 2021
Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech in the House of Lord's Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021 in London, England. The queen could see the union collapse towards the end of her reign. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

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