“Britain’s most senior civil servant and the Queen’s private secretary crafted a carefully worded intervention by the monarch, as No 10 experienced what one senior official described as “meltdown” in the closing stages of the campaign after polls showed growing support for a yes vote.”
It is important to note that Republic held no official position in the referendum, taking the view that whichever way Scotland voted, the monarchy should go. Instead Republic believe that the Queen interfered “in the democratic process”.
Graham Smith, Republic’s CEO, said on December 17th of the claims that:
"The Guardian makes clear that the Queen was prepared to take deliberate steps to encourage people to vote No in the referendum. Regardless of how people feel about Scottish independence we should all be alarmed at such a political intervention by a hereditary monarch."
"We're calling on MPs to censure the Queen for her intervention in the referendum campaign. Of course the Queen is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't - but the bottom line is that the rules are there and the Queen can't pick and choose when to follow them."
Whilst Republic has called for the censuring of the UK’s monarch it is highly unlikely that parliament will even consider the idea. Westminster in its current state would not dare condemn the monarchy. Republicanism in the UK is a very weak force, despite these claims.
A 2011 Guardian-ICM poll, before the royal wedding that year, showed some support for an alternative system with 26% thinking the country would be better off without the royals. However, 63% said they thought the country would be worse of without the royals.
The Queen being an unelected head of state really should not be making political statements, but what she said was subtle. Nonetheless, she should remain impartial in the such political matters. Claims that she should be censured will be ignored, but if anything similar happens again, the monarch’s actions might not be looked upon too highly.
Should the Queen remain impartial on such issues or does she have the right to speak out?