The Queen will maintain a neutral stance during the referendum, Buckingham Palace insisted last night, saying that any suggestion that she would want to influence the outcome was wrong.
A palace spokeswoman said it was the duty of politicians to ensure that the monarch remained above politics, following reports that Conservative MPs were keen for her to speak out in support of a No vote.
Buckingham Palace also made its views known after Alex Salmond rejected reports that the Queen is worried about the prospect of the break-up of Britain.
On Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the First Minister said: “I think Her Majesty the Queen, who has seen so many events in the course of her long reign, will be proud to be Queen of Scots, as indeed we have been proud to have her as the monarch.”
He added: “The proper position is that the Queen will not discuss these issues in public.”
Mr Salmond added that he had detected an “enthusiasm of the people of Scotland to have Her Majesty the Queen as our Queen of Scots”.
Buckingham Palace responded saying: “The sovereign’s constitutional impartiality is an established principle of our democracy and one which the Queen has demonstrated throughout her reign.
“As such the monarchy is above politics and those in political office have a duty to ensure that this remains the case. Any suggestion that the Queen would wish to influence the outcome of the referendum campaign is categorically wrong.”
The spokeswoman added: “Her Majesty is firmly of the view that this is a matter for the people of Scotland.”
Earlier, some Conservative and Labour politicians had suggested that the Queen could intervene in a similar way to her intervention in 1977 – her Silver Jubilee year.
Back then she made a speech in praise of the Union just before the first devolution referendum.