Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party, appears to be suggesting that the Queen should be known as Elizabeth, Queen of Scots, if Scotland gains independence. One wonders if Mr. Salmond is a genuine monarchist, or just attempting to make independence as palatable as possible to skeptical Scottish voters:
He pointed out that the Queen was the monarch of other Commonwealth countries such as Canada and Australia and added that Scotland and England had had a joint monarch since 1603, 104 years before the Act of Union in 1707.
When questioned on what the Queen’s title would be, Mr Salmond said: “Well, I’d have to discuss things with Her Majesty about such things, but I would imagine it would be Elizabeth, Queen of Scots. I think the real thing is to get an independent Scotland but, of course, the Queen can continue as head of state.”
He argued that retaining the monarch would “emphasise the social union” between the two countries.
Many Nationalists believe that the present Queen should not be known as Elizabeth II in Scotland because the previous Queen Elizabeth was Queen of England alone.In the early 1950s, shortly before the Queen ascended to the throne, the issue led to bomb attacks on Scottish postboxes that bore the legend EIIR.
Although there are republican elements within the SNP, the leadership knows that any pledge to remove the Queen as head of state of an independent Scotland would be deeply unpopular with Scottish voters. The party says that if it wins control of the Scottish Parliament in May it will begin preparations to hold a referendum on independence by 2011.