Prince Andrew reportedly gave a ‘nod and wink’, suggesting the Queen would discourage Scotland’s independence
Fury over claims the Queen was part of a plot to discourage Scots from voting for independence as ex-newspaper editor reveals Prince Andrew hinted she would intervene days before 2014 referendum
- Former Financial Times editor Lionel Barber says he met Prince Andrew in 2014
- Andrew reportedly made ‘astonishing’ comments about how the Queen would intervene
- Three days after lunch, the Queen said she hoped the people of Scotland would ‘think very hard about the future’ in a church near Balmoral
- Buckingham Palace had said at the time that any suggestion that the Queen was trying to influence the outcome of the referendum was ‘categorically wrong’
Prince Andrew hinted that the Queen would discourage Scots from voting to split the UK, it is claimed.
Former Financial Times editor Lionel Barber angered allegations that the Duke of York had told him a week before the 2014 Scottish referendum that the Queen would intervene in the discussion.
Mr Barber says he met Andrew and former Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Ma Kai at Buckingham Palace on September 11, after a shocking poll that put the ‘yes’ campaign ahead of those planning to vote ‘no’ to independence. The Sunday Times reports.
Barber writes in his diaries that Andrew gave him a “ nod and wink ” and made some “ pretty damn amazing ” comments about how the Queen intended to join the discussion.
He says that on the day of lunch the mood in the palace “was one of concern that the referendum was on edge.”
Three days after lunch, the Queen said she hoped the people of Scotland would ‘think very hard about the future’ as she spoke to a member of the audience outside Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral.
In response to the claims, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said The Scottish sun: ‘This is shocking and extremely worrying. If true, it means that political pressure was put on the queen to push her into areas the monarch should not go. ‘
Former Financial Times editor Lionel Barber (pictured right) claims the Duke of York (left in 2014) told him a week before the Scottish referendum that the Queen would intervene in the discussion
In the photo of Queen Elizabeth in Crathie Church, Balmoral, on September 14, 2014. The Queen said she hoped the people of Scotland would ‘think very hard about the future’
In Barber’s diaries published this month, the former FT editor writes, “ There’s a scene where I’m in Buckingham Palace, invited by the roguish Duke of York to lunch with the Chinese Secretary of State, and Andrew suddenly leaves halfway loose that the queen intervenes on Sunday.
That was interesting. They clearly planned it. It was done very artfully … Andrew knew about it. ‘
The ‘no’ campaign won 55% -45%. Mr. Barber thinks the Queen “may have tipped the balance.”
David Cameron had said the Sunday Times poll that put the ‘yes’ vote first had sparked an ‘increasing sense of panic’, and then sought help from royal officials on how the Queen could remain neutral but still comment .
Social media users responded to the claims, with some saying it could mark ‘the beginning of the end of the monarchy in Scotland’
The then prime minister suggested that raising an eyebrow might help the queen “ even a quarter of an inch ” to stop the independence offering.
Buckingham Palace had said at the time that any suggestion that the Queen was trying to influence the outcome of the referendum was “categorically wrong.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told MailOnline today, “We never comment on people’s memories of what were private conversations.”
David Cameron wrote in his memoirs that he was ‘delighted’ when the Queen made the dramatic and controversial intervention.
Mr Cameron (pictured with the Queen in 2010) said he was delighted when she spoke out about the Scottish independence referendum, which he was in danger of losing.
A week after the vote, the Queen made an ‘unprecedented’ plea to the nation to ‘get together’ and strive for a true United Kingdom.
Today’s revelations come as the issue of Scottish independence flares up again as Boris Johnson warned that Nicola Sturgeon’s push to split the UK ‘must stop’ just days after calling Scottish devolution a ‘disaster’.
Speaking at the Scottish Tory’s virtual conference, the Prime Minister said “bluntly” that now is not the time for “divisions or distractions about our national constitution.”
He also smashed what he called the SNP’s “ hopeless record ” over 13 years of government, noting its “ plummeting educational standards, low business confidence, and the lowest ever satisfaction in public services. ”
Johnson is desperate to limit the damage after calling devolution a “ disaster ” in a closed Zoom meeting with MPs.