Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Aileen Campbell says Scots should decide on monarchy

Aileen Campbell [left] was on the panel with Ruth Davidson [right]
Image caption Aileen Campbell [left] was on the panel with Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson [right]

The people of Scotland should decide whether the Queen would remain as head of state in the event of independence, a Scottish minister has said.

Aileen Campbell made her views known on the BBC Three programme Free Speech.

She also said she recognised that the Scottish government's official position was that the Queen would remain as head of state after a yes vote.

The people of Scotland will decide on their country's future in a referendum on 18 September next year.

They will be asked the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Ms Campbell, who is minister for children and young people, was on a four-strong panel of guests answering questions from the Free Speech programme's audience in Edinburgh.

She was alongside Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson; Dr Ranj Singh, a doctor and broadcaster; and Jane Bussmann, a comedian and writer.

The panel was asked by a member of the audience whether a monarch was "necessary" in Scotland.

The SNP politician told the audience: "The Scottish government's position is that after a yes vote next year the Queen would remain the head of state, but like many people in Scotland I believe the sovereignty of people is a very important thing so it would be up to people to decide whether or not that would remain the case thereafter."

She added: "I think it's up to folk, folk like yourselves here in the audience, who will have a say on how the country is shaped as we move forward, and I think that's a really exciting thing.

"The birth of a child is always a happy event and I'm sure everyone wishes Prince George all the very best but for the country to move forward, a yes vote next year will allow us and enable us to take the decisions about what that country would look like, how it would feel, and that includes about deciding who is the future head of state."

First Minister Alex Salmond had previously stated that the result of the referendum next year would not change the role of the monarchy in Scotland.

In response to Ms Campbell's comment, Ms Davidson said she was working "very hard" to stay part of the UK because she believed it was providing "the best of both worlds".

She added: "I [also] like the Royals - I am proud of the Queen, I am an unashamed royalist and monarchist.

"I think the Queen has done a fantastic job for 60 years.

"I really like the younger generation - Harry and Wills do great and I hope George is going to go on to serve in the Armed Forces and go on to be a good figurehead and role model as we move forward."

Last month the chairman of the Yes Scotland advisory board, Dennis Canavan, declared that Prince George, the newest member of the Royal Family and third in line to the UK throne, should never be king of Scotland.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites