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The Wessexes

The government is deluded if they think Prince Edward is their secret weapon for the union


Photo: Stephen Lock/I-Images

There are three constants in life: death, taxes, and the row over Scotland gaining independence from the United Kingdom. The matter was seemingly settled in a 2014 referendum which saw 55% of voters choose to stay in the union. But the matter is clearly not going away, with Scottish nationalists mounting a new bid to leave the UK.

If the Scottish National Party win the upcoming Parliamentary Elections in May by a landslide, as is widely expected, a second referendum on independence will surely become inevitable.

It is perhaps not entirely surprising then that Downing Street is already on manoeuvres trying to prepare a strategy to preserve the future of the United Kingdom. It is entirely surprising, however, that the government’s secret weapon was mooted at one stage to be the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

According to the Daily Mail, Number 10 mooted the idea of relocating Edward and Sophie to the Palace of Holyroodhouse – The Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh – in order to deepen the ‘emotional bond’ between the Scottish people and the Crown.

It isn’t a ridiculous concept for politicians to play on the emotions of the voters. In a battle of emotional vs rational argument, emotion always wins. Nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than in the 2016 Brexit referendum where rationality was thrown to the wind in place of sentiment and passion.

However, the very fact that Downing Street suggested even for a second that the Wessexes should relocate to Scotland shows just how out of touch our leaders are.

Please do not misunderstand me. The Earl and Countess of Wessex are two of the hardest working members of The Royal Family and are a credit to The Queen and the country. But make no mistake, the only emotions that will be stirred by this proposal will be the opposite of what was intended.

The whole aim of independence is to create a clear separation between the countries of the UK. Parachuting in the 11th in line to the throne from one castle in England to another castle in Scotland is hardly going to make Nicola Sturgeon quiver in her boots.

Quite frankly, it is a terrible idea. It could only become more absurd if the bigwigs of government decide to send the Duke of York to Scotland (although I suppose that would be preferable for Andrew than sending him to America).

Should we relocate The Queen to Scotland permanently, we might have a plan that could work. I’m sure there wouldn’t be too much objection from Her Majesty spending the majority of her time in the divine Balmoral Castle. Similarly, the Cambridge Family are very popular and could help strengthen any existing emotional bonds. But please, for the love of God, if you want to keep Scotland in the Union, then keep Edward away.