Queen Elizabeth's Meeting with Scotland's First Minister Came amid a Major Announcement

·2 min read
Queen Elizabeth's Meeting with Scotland's First Minister Came amid a Major Announcement

Queen Elizabeth is continuing her week in Scotland by meeting with some of the country's leaders amid the possibility of a big change.

On Wednesday, the 96-year-old monarch received the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

The Queen always meets with the first minister during her Holyrood Week, however, the meeting came less than 24 hours after Sturgeon announced plans for parliament to hold a second Scotland independence referendum, tentatively scheduled for October 19, 2023.

If it is passed, Scotland would break away from the U.K. and become an independent country. However, they would likely retain the Queen as Head of State. After becoming an independent country, Scotland would have to hold another vote to transition from a monarchy to a republic.

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Queen Elizabeth II receives First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Queen Elizabeth II receives First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The first referendum on Scottish independence was held in September 2014, but only 44.7% voted for it to pass.

Queen Elizabeth also welcomed Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Wednesday.

Queen Elizabeth II receives Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Queen Elizabeth II receives Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The monarch traveled by Royal Train overnight to Edinburgh for the Royal Week in Scotland, starting with an appearance on Monday for the historic Ceremony of the Keys. During the ceremony, the Queen is handed the keys of the city of Edinburgh and welcomed to "your ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland."

Queen Elizabeth II receives First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II receives First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Although she has received audiences at her Windsor Castle home in the past week, the outing on Monday marked her first public appearance since her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in early June. The Queen was absent from all five days of Royal Ascot earlier this month — one of her go-to events — amid her ongoing mobility issues.

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Queen Elizabeth II (C) attends an Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Queen Elizabeth II (C) attends an Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Queen Elizabeth

On Tuesday, the Queen made another public appearance to watch a military parade in the garden of Holyroodhouse.

The Armed Forces Act of Loyalty Parade paid tribute to the Queen as head of the Armed Forces in Scotland and marked her Platinum Jubilee.

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