A more ambivalent approach to the monarchy north of the Border stems largely from the Scottish psyche, Holyrood Editor Mandy Rhodes has said, as the Queen entered the second day of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Scotland.
Speaking on the Today programme on Radio Four this morning, Rhodes explained that lesser engagement with the monarchy throughout Scotland was rooted in cultural considerations as much as political.
Her comments come amid increasing questions over the role of the Queen in a post-independent Scotland if the outcome of the referendum is to urge a move away from the rest of the UK.
Diamond Jubilee celebrations last month proved much more muted compared with England with far fewer street parties across the country, though First Minister Alex Salmond attributed the divergence to a “different style” in Scotland.
Rhodes said: “Scotland perhaps has a more egalitarian approach to things anyway. We don’t particularly like deference. And even when you look at our cultural identity, our culture, our theatre, our entertainment didn’t come from the court. It came from the people up.”
A YouGov poll published earlier this year discovered 46 per cent of Scots would seek to keep the royal family after independence, compared with 41 per cent who favoured a republic. A second poll by the same organisation a month later found increasing support for keeping the Queen as head of state if Scotland became independent with three fifths in favour.
Mark Diffley, research director at Ipsos MORI Scotland, added: “People are more worried about what will happen to the armed forces, nuclear weapons and nuclear power and, to a lesser extent, things like membership of NATO. Of course there is the currency issue as well but who will set our interest rates and so on. The future of the monarchy will be one of those things – how will things look and feel different – but that will be quite a way down the list.”