William kicked off his week-long visit to Scotland on Friday, with his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge set to join him today for the rest of the tour. Over the weekend, the Duke of Cambridge spoke of his fond memories of the nation during a speech at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He said: “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.”
However, his words prompted a furious reaction from SNP fans who accused the future king of being political in his speech, before claiming he would have to pay for his own security if the Scottish Government cut ties with the Royal Family if they gained independence for the UK.
One person wrote on Twitter: “His speech was highly political and like many Scots I have zero time for Betty and her sponging cabal.
“He can visit Scotland after Indy if he pays for his own security.”
However, ITV’s Chris Ship quickly shot down the SNP backlash as he responded: “Doesn’t Nicola Sturgeon wish to keep the Queen as Head of State in the event of independence?”
The Queen’s role as the head of state within Scotland is unlikely to be in danger if Scotland ever gains independence, as First Minister has previously made it clear the country does not wish to be a republican state.
She wrote on Twitter in 2015: “There is absolutely, categorically, no intention by @scotgov to cut S’land’s contribution to the Sovereign Grant and never has been.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson later added: “Scotland will continue to make the same financial contribution to the monarchy as at present — there will be no reduction in the Sovereign Grant as a result of devolution of the Crown Estate.”
Despite being impartial, The Queen has also hinted she does not wish for Scotland to distance itself from the monarch and the rest of the UK.
On the Sunday before the 2014 Indyref vote she told a well-wisher outside Crathie church near Balmoral: “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.”
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