Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine

Subscribe

Subscribe to Holyrood
by Andrew Learmonth
12 March 2021
Greens call for Queen to be replaced with 'democratically accountable head of state'

Greens call for Queen to be replaced with 'democratically accountable head of state'

The Scottish Greens have called for the Queen to be replaced by a “democratically accountable head of state”.

The party’s co-leader, Patrick Harvie, said the revelations of the last week raised "serious questions about the attitudes and values of the Royal Family".

He added: "They also serve as a reminder that the monarchy itself is an outdated, discredited and totally undemocratic institution.

"As we look to the future that Scotland can have as a fairer, greener and independent country, it is clear that asking the people to choose a modern, democratically accountable head of state would be the best step forward.

“The idea that any family has the right to such status based on hereditary titles and unearned wealth would hold Scotland back, and it’s not one that the Scottish Greens will ever support.

“Their shooting and hunting estates can be put to better use serving the local communities and creating more jobs."

Ahead of the 2014 referendum, the Scottish Government’s white paper said the Queen would still be Scotland’s monarch if the country voted to leave the UK.

A YouGov poll carried out during that referendum campaign found that 54% of Scots favoured keeping the monarchy if Scotland votes "Yes", compared with 39% who would like to see it scrapped.

Responding to Harvie's comments, Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: "The monarchy is one of our most loved and respected institutions and that is still widely recognised across Scotland.

“Patrick Harvie is indulging in the most pathetic type of politics in a shameless bid to pander to republican voters who might be tempted to vote for his party."

Fraser added: “The vast majority of Scots will recognise this patronising attempt to woo the electorate and see right through the Greens illogical nonsense. The benefits of having a constitutional monarchy as opposed to an elected politician as head of state are overwhelming.

“Patrick Harvie would be best served by actually focusing on environmental matters for once rather than spending his time obsessing about getting rid of the Royal Family.”

It's been a difficult week for Buckingham Palace, following Oprah Winfrey’s bombshell interview with Meghan and Harry.

During the televised chat – watched by a global audience of around 50 million - the couple told how a family member – not the Queen or Duke of Edinburgh – raised concerns about how dark their unborn son Archie’s skin tone might be.

Meghan also spoke candidly about her mental health, telling the host that she had experienced suicidal thoughts.

On Thursday, Prince William defended the monarchy. He told Sky News: “We’re very much not a racist family.”

Most politicians have tried to avoid the row engulfing the royal family.

Earlier this week, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said allegations of racism made by the Sussexes were a “matter now for the family”.

Asked at his local election campaign launch, he said: “The issues that Meghan raised of race and mental health are serious.

“The palace has now responded and I do think it is a matter now for the family and I do hope it is resolved as soon as possible.”

Boris Johnson carefully side-stepped the question when asked about it during a No 10 briefing earlier this week.

“I have always had the highest admiration for the Queen and the unifying role she plays in our country and across the Commonwealth,” he said on Tuesday.

“As for all other matters to do with the royal family, I have spent a long time now not commenting on royal family matters, and I don’t intend to depart from that,” the Prime Minister added.

 

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - MSPs expected to confirm SNP leader as first minister

Stay in the know with our fortnightly magazine

Stay in the know with our fortnightly magazine

Subscribe

Popular reads
Back to top