What Would Scottish Independence Mean For The Monarchy?

Scotland's upcoming vote for independence begs the question: what will happen to Scotland's ties to the monarchy?

What Would Scottish Independence Mean For The Monarchy?
Getty Images / Jeff J Mitchell

Scotland’s vote for independence is less than two weeks away, and with polling showing "Yes" votes ahead by a slim margin, there's a solid chance Scotland might leave the United Kingdom.

An independent Scotland would face a lot of uncertainty: What currency would it use? Would it be able to join the European Union? Which country would retain ownership of oil reserves in the North Sea?

But there’s another question that hasn’t been getting as much time in the spotlight — what would happen to the monarchy?

Right now, Queen Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth nations. That, of course, includes Scotland.

But a Scottish vote for independence could jeopardize the shared crown, which has existed since 1603.

The official position of the "Yes" campaign is that Scotland will remain a constitutional monarchy under the British royal family, but that could change with enough support.

As it turns out, that support might already exist. A YouGov Times of London poll found 46 percent of the folks who support an independent Scotland also support breaking ties with the British monarchy.

Director of the Global Policy Institute in London, told The Times earlier in August that his "absolute conviction is that once the Queen goes the Scots won't wear Prince Charles, and they will go for a republican system within the European Union."

But there's a third possibility: Scotland could bring back their own monarchy.

You may think that's crazy talk, but as The Telegraph points out, there are still descendants of the Stuart dynasty, which ruled over Scotland before it united with England in 1603.

One of them, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba and Grandee of Spain, holds more noble titles than any other person currently living and is also one of the wealthiest women in the world.

The Telegraph writes with that wealth, "If she became queen of an independent Scotland, she would be in a position to bail out the Scottish government financially. The way things are going that may prove more than useful."

For right now, analysts consider this all a remote possibility. A former U.K. Liberal Party leader told Newsweek those calling for a break with the British monarchy are a "small but vocal minority."

Scotland is set to vote on its independence, and possibly set the stage for a change to the monarchy, on September 18.

This video includes images from Getty Images.