Independent Scotland ‘will need own coronation’
A ceremony held in an independent Scotland would symbolise a future monarch’s role as King or Queen of Scots, the report argues.
The prospect of ceremonies both north and south of the Border when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne was raised by three councils within the Kirk, which are examining the implications of independence.
The report suggests that after independence there would be a need to “devise an alternative coronation for offering the Scottish crown to a monarch”. It also calls on the Scottish Government to publish a draft constitution before the referendum date.
If the Kirk’s suggestion comes to pass, Scotland would see its first coronation since 1651, when Charles II was crowned at Scone Palace.
Last night, the Kirk said a coronation ceremony would reaffirm the Church’s firm commitment to the monarchy. It would also serve as a reminder of the obligations of the monarch to uphold Scottish religious life and traditions.
The co-author of the report, Dr Doug Gay, the principal of Trinity College, Glasgow University, said: “The historic central view of the Church is that any monarch is King or Queen of the Scottish people, not the nation of Scotland. They rule only with the consent of the people.
“The Church would be in support of a Scottish coronation to reflect this important role and to celebrate a unique relationship.”
The Scottish Government last night welcomed the Kirk’s contribution to the debate, but pointed out that the Queen was head of state for many Commonwealth countries and there were no proposals to hold separate coronations for them.
The report from three bodies – the Church and Society Council, the Committee on Ecumenical Relations and the Legal Questions Committee – will be presented to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland next month.
Unlike south of the Border where the Queen is head of the Church of England, the Church of Scotland is a self-governing religious organisation. This was enshrined in the 1689 Claim of Right, which the Kirk says must continue to be recognised in the event of independence.
There are, however, strong links between the monarch and the Kirk. When the Queen came to the throne in 1953, she took the Accession Oath to uphold Presbyterian government, doctrine and worship in Scotland at a meeting of the Privy Council.
Furthermore, the 1707 Act of Union guarantees for all time the “Reformed and Presbyterian polity of the Church of Scotland within the United Kingdom”.
Pro-UK campaigners argued that republican politicians on the Yes Scotland side of the constitutional debate would be angered by the thought of a massive royal celebration in Scotland.
But last night, Christine Grahame, the SNP MSP and prominent critic of the monarchy, appeared relaxed about the prospect of a Scottish coronation.
“I won’t be lining the Royal Mile with my flag,” she said. “But it is a matter for those who support the monarchy and I bow to democracy.”