Queen Elizabeth Faces Another Major Shakeup In The Monarchy

It's been a year of ups and downs for Queen Elizabeth II. One positive event was her Platinum Jubilee celebration, which marked 70 years of service as the monarch of the United Kingdom (via The New York Times). Thousands of adoring fans traveled to London from all over the world, joining the British public in celebrating the queen's jubilee.

However, there have been several rough patches for the queen throughout the year as well. Her son Prince Andrew is still dealing with the repercussions of his alleged crimes against Virginia Giuffre. As a result, the queen stripped the prince of all his royal titles (via CNBC).

Elizabeth has also been dealing with health issues. She missed out on several of her favorite events during the Jubilee due to both a previous COVID-19 diagnosis and ongoing mobility issues (per CNN). 

She has been laying low since the big celebrations, but the queen recently made her first public appearance — and the outing was met with shocking news.

The queen was in Scotland when important news broke

For Her Majesty, going out hasn't been an easy task this year. At 96 years old, it's not surprising that the queen — who has spent 70 years on the throne — isn't moving along as well as she once did (via Newsweek). Her recent health struggles have caused her to miss some royal events, sending Prince Charles or Prince William in her stead.

She hadn't traveled for a public appearance since the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, however, she was able to make the trek to Scotland to visit First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on June 29, 2022, as reported by Hello! Magazine.

During her visit, some interesting things were going on behind the scenes in Scotland. According to People, the Parliament announced it was going to hold a second attempt at passing the Scotland independence referendum, which would allow it to become an independent country rather than part of the United Kingdom.

Only 44.7% voted yes the first time that Scotland attempted this, however, a second vote will commence in October 2023 (via People).

Would Her Majesty still rule over Scotland if the referendum passed?

The royal family typically stays out of politics, but, if the Scottish people do vote to leave the United Kingdom, it could mean drastic changes for the firm. Per Newsweek, Buckingham Palace released a statement in response to suggestions that the queen had a major stake in the outcome.

"The sovereign's constitutional impartiality is an established principle of our democracy and one which the queen has demonstrated throughout her reign," it read. "Any suggestion that the queen would wish to influence the outcome of the current referendum campaign is categorically wrong. Her Majesty is simply of the view this is a matter for the people of Scotland."

As BBC News points out, Her Majesty has strong links to the north, not least because her beloved family residence, Balmoral Castle, is located in Aberdeenshire. Likewise, she frequently spends week-long sojourns in Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, which is the official residence of the reigning British monarch in Scotland. 

When the issue came up in 2014, the First Minister at the time, Alex Salmond, reassured Elizabeth that she will always be the "Queen of Scots," regardless of what happens. Salmond also reasoned she'd "be proud" to rule over an independent sovereign nation. Campaigners fought back against this idea, arguing it should be put to a vote. Furthermore, Professor Robert Hazell, director of UCL's Constitution Unit, clarified that the queen's official duties would "depend on the role provided for head of state in Scotland's new written constitution."

Royal expert claims this is how the queen would feel about an independent Scotland

If Scotland does become independent, royal expert Robert Hardman reckons that the queen would take it on the chin. Per Express, the author, who penned "Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II," told The Times, "She would ready herself for either result. Of course, she would be very sad if the Union came to an end, but if it is the democratic will, I think she will say to herself, 'If this is what people have voted for, it is my duty to make it work.'" 

It's worth noting that many senior members of the royal family feel a distinct connection to Scotland, with the ownership of Balmoral stretching back to the 19th century. "The queen and Prince Charles feel viscerally Scottish, especially when they are in Scotland," Hardman explained. 

Moreover, Princess Eugenie opined that Balmoral is her grandmother's happy place in the documentary "Our Queen at 90." "She really, really loves the Highlands... walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs, there's always dogs and people coming in and out," she said.

Side-by-side images of the queen are causing alarm among royal experts because it's becoming harder to ignore how frail the long-reigning monarch looks. The Guardian argues that her time on the throne is gradually winding down as Prince Charles takes on more and more official duties in his mother's absence. As a result, Her Majesty may soon be retiring to her beloved Balmoral for good.