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Opinion: What about Prince Sverre Magnus as Scottish King?

Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

Royal Central’s Senior Europe Correspondent, Oskar Aanmoen, gives his opinion on why he believes Norway’s Prince Sverre Magnus should be the Scottish king if they became independent and chose to continue to live under a monarchy:

Right now, it’s no secret that politics in the United Kingdom is in chaos. As the debate over Brexit continues, it’s also opening up interesting questions about other parts of the way the UK is organised. In 2014, the people of Scotland voted in a referendum on whether they wanted the country to become independent from the rest of the UK. They voted by a 55% majority. However, two years later 62% of voters in Scotland said they wanted the UK to remain as part of the European Union in that other referendum which has come to dominate British politics ever since. Analysts argue that this shows there are more people in Scotland who want to be part of the EU than want to be part of the UK.

As the UK is on its way out of the EU, the debate on Scottish independence has once again come up. The question is how an independent Scotland would be organised – would it be a monarchy or republic? In addition, if Scotland chose to continue as a monarchy, is it right for a newly independent country to be ruled by a member of the British Royal Family if its people have just chosen to break away from the UK? Whether Scotland ever becomes independent, it is unnatural to me that they become a republic and that they adopt a British monarch. Adopting another member of the British Royal Family as a monarch is, in my opinion, not worthy of an independent Scottish kingdom.

Scotland and Norway have a long history together. Much of Scotland was ruled by the Norwegian King during the Viking Age. Parts of what is today Scotland were long a part of Norway, even after the Viking Age. The only reason why Shetland is not Norwegian but Scottish is that the Danish-Norwegian King had to pawn the islands to the Scottish monarch as late as in 1469. It caused a great stir in Norway in 2014 when Shetland’s independence movement said they wanted to become a part of Norway again if Scotland became an independent state. The same has been said quite recently by the independence movement on the Orkney Islands.

Prince Sverre Magnus and his sister, HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra. Photo: Julia NAglestad / The Norwegian Royal Court.

The idea that parts of Scotland should again become a part of Norway, while mainland Scotland should function as an independent nation from the rest of the UK is extremely unlikely and a bad idea. I, therefore, propose a completely new solution for the Scots. In my opinion, the best solution for Scotland, if they ever separate from the United Kingdom, is to choose someone from the Norwegian Royal Family to become the new Scottish monarch. As the situation is today, the Norwegian Prince Sverre Magnus would be an excellent alternative.

The election of Sverre Magnus to Scottish King would secure a separate Scottish royal house – independent of the British. It would strengthen Scotland’s independent role within the Northern European community by creating dynastic ties not only to Norway but all the Scandinavian kingdoms. It would ensure unification within Scotland by bringing to silence the internal independence groups within Scotland while also ensuring stability that only a constitutional monarchy can provide a newly established state.

In 1905, the Norwegian people chose to have the British-born Maud as Norwegian queen, meaning that the Scots choosing Norwegian-born Sverre Magnus as king is perfectly within reason. In my opinion, it is also the best option if Europe is ever going to see an independent Scotland. At least, this is my alternative to restore some kind of stability, if the instability that might force upon Europe a Scottish state. The question is just what would the people of Scotland and Prince Sverre Magnus think of this idea?

This opinion article was first published in the Norwegian newspaper “Dagbladet”, Friday, 20 September.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.