SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: The Queen has hailed Britain’s “robust democratic tradition” and said she has no doubt the Scottish people and the rest of the UK will “work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country”.
It is believed the triumph of the No campaign was met with much relief by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
After Scotland’s rejection of independence, she issued a written statement from Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, where she has been staying.
The Queen said: “Now, as we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all.
“Knowing the people of Scotland as I do, I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country.”
She said the outcome of the referendum had followed many “months of discussion, debate, and careful thought” and that “it is a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect”.
She alluded to the deep divisions the referendum campaign had created, saying: “For many in Scotland and elsewhere today, there will be strong feelings and contrasting emotions – among family, friends and neighbours.
“That, of course, is the nature of the robust democratic tradition we enjoy in this country. But I have no doubt that these emotions will be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others.”
The Queen pledged to help the country work constructively for the future.
“My family and I will do all we can to help and support you in this important task,” she said.
Her statement will be seen as part of the process of reconciliation following heated arguments by both sides during the referendum.
The Queen remains neutral on political matters, but Buckingham Palace officials said she had followed the campaign very closely throughout.
The words the Queen uttered last Sunday after attending morning service at Crathie Kirk appeared to urge Scottish voters to be cautious about severing their ties with the rest of the UK.
“Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future,” she reportedly told a well-wisher in the crowd.