DESPITE a sizeable proportion of those involved in the independence movement being proponents of republicanism, the SNP has realised that getting rid of the Monarchy in Scotland would be unpopular with the public at large.
Therefore the SNP has taken the pragmatic step of developing an official policy that would see an independent Scotland retain Queen Elizabeth as head of state and remain within the Commonwealth.
Alex Salmond has argued that such an arrangement has a historical precedent referring back to the role of the Monarch in between the Union of the Crowns in 1603 and the 1707 Act of Union. Then a single Monarch ruled over the Scotland and England, even though the two nations had entirely separate parliaments. In Scotland, the Monarch is referred to as Queen of Scots.
Alex Salmond is said to enjoy a cordial relationship with the Royal Family and has been received by the Queen and the Duke of Rothesay at Balmoral on several occasions.