The Queen yesterday issued an extraordinary call for caution in the Scottish independence referendum, urging Scots to consider ‘carefully’ whether they want to leave the United Kingdom.
In the strongest indication yet that Her Majesty wants the Union to stay together, she told a member of the public: ‘I hope everybody thinks very carefully about the referendum this week.’
Her remark came after she made what was seen as a carefully choreographed and highly symbolic appearance at a final church service in Scotland before Thursday’s knife-edge poll.
Unusually, Prince William – who rarely attends church and whose pregnant wife, Kate, is known to be feeling extremely ill – and Prince Charles both unexpectedly accompanied the Queen to the service near her Scottish home, Balmoral.
Afterwards she took the highly unusual step of stopping to converse with wellwishers outside the church – while aides pointedly invited surprised photographers to come and take pictures of her exchanges with the locals.